A major event takes place next month as Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos wins the horse race to usher in a new era of space tourism on July 20. But Bezos’ time actually in space will be just a little longer than it took to run the Kentucky Derby.
His company, Blue Origin, will celebrate the spaceship New Shepard’s victory when Bezos and company are able to float, weightless, for about three minutes.
New Shepard, named for Apollo astronaut Alan Shepard, aims to provide paying customers a unique expedition – precious minutes in space with a world-beating view of Earth.
They will see through what the company calls the largest windows of any spaceship in the world.
July 20 marks 52 years since the 1969 Apollo moon landing.
The capsule will then come back to Earth with the help of parachutes deployed. Its landing will happen near the company’s operations base in the deserts of Texas.
Bezos and his brother Mark will be joined by the highest bidder of an auction that culminates on Saturday for the third seat.
Bezos is keeping everyone apprised of his feelings via Instagram.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos wrote Monday.
He included a video during which he said: “I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure – it’s a big deal for me.”
The journey will be automated; there will be no pilot.
From its base in west Texas, New Shepard will leave the launchpad for an 11-minute trip.
Three minutes later, Business Insider wrote, “they will suddenly feel weightless. They’ll have another three minutes to unbuckle and float around the cabin, drifting from one window to another.”
Then it’s back to reality, and Earth, assuming all goes according to plan.