Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. File / Reuters
Amazon's billionaire founder Jeff Bezos said on Monday he and his brother Mark will fly on the first crewed space flight from his rocket company Blue Origin next month.
"Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of travelling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother," Bezos, who is one of the richest people in the world, said in an Instagram post.
Bezos, who is due to step down as Amazon's chief on July 5, will join the winner of an auction for a seat on the first space flight from Blue Origin.
Bezos, fellow billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson have been investing billions of dollars on their rocket startups, but Bezos will be the first of the three to actually travel into space on a rocket developed by his own company.
The Blue Origin spacecraft, which is set to carry Bezos and others, has undergone 15 test flights, none of which had any passengers onboard. Blue Origin closed the first round of the auction last month and said it had received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries, without disclosing the highest bid from the round.
The current highest bid stood at $2.8 million in the ongoing second round of auction, according to Blue Origin's website. (www.blueorigin.com)
Its New Shepard rocket-and-capsule combo is designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 62 miles (100 km) above Earth into suborbital space, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the planet before the pressurized capsule returns to earth under parachutes.
The capsule features six observation windows and are nearly three times as tall as those on a Boeing 747 jetliner and the largest ever used in space, Blue Origin said.
Bezos's rocket startup is targeting July 20 for its first suborbital sightseeing trip, a landmark moment in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.
In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the New Shepard capsule uses parachutes to land during a test in West Texas. File / AP
The startup was planning to charge passengers at least $200,000 for the ride, based on an appraisal of rival plans from Branson's Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and other considerations, Reuters reported in 2018, but its thinking may have changed.
Global insurers as still in the early stages when it comes to covering liabilities surrounding space travel. Life insurers do not ask about space tourism or exclude it from their coverage.
"You will sign this waiver of liability and provided there's no gross negligence or willful misconduct, if you don't survive, unfortunately, there's probably no financial recovery," said Richard Parker of Assure space, a unit of insurer AmTrust Financial.
An electronics engineer from Gaza, Loay Elbasyouni, had worked with the Nasa team that made history this month by launching an experimental helicopter from the surface of Mars.
"We welcome you back to planet Earth and thanks for flying SpaceX,” SpaceX's Mission Control radioed moments after splashdown. "For those of you enrolled in our frequent flyer programme, you've earned 68 million miles on this voyage.”
"We'll take those miles,” said spacecraft commander Mike Hopkins. "Are they transferrable?” SpaceX replied that the astronauts would have to check with the company's
The mission is a mandatory two-day final exam for astronauts and cosmonauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in the Star City.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill held a fiery media conference in which he lashed out at Shirazi for criticising the government’s economic policies in her article.
Sheikh Mohammed exchanged cordial conversations with Simonyte about the bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to advance economic relations towards a new stage that achieves the interests of the two countries and their development aspirations in various fields of common interest, foremost of which are the sectors of advanced technology, innovation, and renewable energy.
This was announced by the Seismology Department of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), which monitors earthquake activities in the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied during the visit by his sons, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, and Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.