A very rich man is going to space this week and you can watch.
First went Branson, now goes Bezos.
Earth’s wealthiest inhabitants going on recreational trips to space as climate change, income inequality, and an ongoing pandemic ravage their home planet would be too on-the-nose for the average Hollywood screenwriter, but not for Jeff Bezos. The good news is you can watch him do that life if you feel like it.
Yes, the former Amazon CEO will briefly visit outer space on Tuesday, July 20 via Blue Origin, a private spaceflight company he also owns. It will be the first passenger trip for the New Shepard craft, and if you want to watch the launch live, head over to Blue Origin’s website starting at 7:30 a.m. ET. Liftoff is tentatively scheduled for 9:00 a.m. ET, as long as the weather cooperates.
Of course, Bezos is only “going to space” in a purely technical sense. He and the other three passengers (his brother Mark, aviator Wally Funk, and a rich teenager) will spend approximately 11 minutes in the ship as it crosses the point in the atmosphere where gravity ceases to be a concern, before gently coming back down to Earth with the help of a parachute. There will be no moon colony visit on this flight, at least not yet.
Put simply, this is a very expensive amusement park ride for a world where NASA doesn’t do a lot of manned spaceflights anymore. But if you’d rather think about it as a milestone in humanity’s gradual journey to the stars, you can go ahead and witness it live on Tuesday morning.