Amazon's Jeff Bezos makes history with all-civilian suborbital flight

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NBC News 20 July, 2021 - 08:40am 34 views

Where is the Blue Origin launch site?

If all goes to plan, the company's New Shepard rocket and capsule will take off for an 11-minute journey, launching and landing outside Van Horn, Texas at Blue Origin facilities, dubbed Launch Site One. Space.comBlue Origin to launch its 1st astronaut flight with Jeff Bezos and crew of 3 today

Who owns Blue Origin?

The richest man in the world is counting down the minutes to his spacefaring debut. Sixteen years after he set out in earnest to commercialize space travel, Jeff Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin, is scheduled to take its biggest step yet in that direction, with its founder along for the ride. Los Angeles TimesJeff Bezos Blue Origin space flight launch: What to know

Did Richard Branson go to space?

But Bezos' company Blue Origin says Branson didn't actually go to space. ... The supersonic space plane created by his company Virgin Galactic took off from New Mexico on July 11 and reached 53.5 miles above the earth. KHOU.comWhy Blue Origin says Richard Branson didn’t reach space

Bezos successfully flew to the edge of space Tuesday aboard a rocket and capsule developed by his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin. The billionaire entrepreneur made history by being part of the first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew. The much-anticipated trip was also the first crewed launch for Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.

Bezos launched at around 9:11 a.m. ET from a site in the west Texas desert southeast of El Paso. After liftoff, the New Shepard rocket accelerated toward space at three times the speed of sound. At an altitude of 250,000 feet, the capsule separated, taking Bezos and his crew to the edge of space. The craft then descended under parachutes and landed again in the Texas desert. The entire flight lasted roughly 10 minutes.

"Best day ever," Bezos radioed to mission controllers after touching down.

Bezos’ flight was a suborbital jaunt, which means he and his crew members didn’t actually enter into orbit around Earth. Rather, the capsule reached the edge of space, at an altitude of more than 65 miles, where the passengers experienced roughly four minutes of weightlessness.

Joining Bezos on the flight were his brother, Mark, and Wally Funk, 82, a former test pilot who was one of the Mercury 13 women who underwent training in the 1960s to demonstrate that women could qualify for NASA’s astronaut corps. Funk is now the oldest person to reach space.

Rounding out the four-person crew was Oliver Daemen, 18, of the Netherlands, who now holds the title of the youngest astronaut.

In an interview Monday on NBC’s “TODAY” show, Bezos described his anticipation for the trip.

“I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be like. People who go into space say that they come back changed,” he told “TODAY” co-host Hoda Kotb. “I can’t wait to see what it’s going to do to me.”

Although Bezos’ suborbital experience was similar to that of Branson, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic operate with different flight profiles. Virgin Galactic’s rocket-powered Unity craft launches from a carrier airplane from an altitude of 50,000 feet and is flown by two onboard pilots. Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket and capsule launch vertically and are designed to fly autonomously. Both the rocket and capsule are also designed to be reusable.

Blue Origin’s capsule is also designed to reach a higher altitude than Virgin Galactic’s vehicle. The edge of space is often defined by the so-called Kármán line, at 62 miles. The New Shepard capsule flies above the Kármán line, while Virgin Galactic’s craft reached an altitude of around 53 miles during Branson’s flight, which fueled a budding rivalry between the companies.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force recognize the boundary of space at 50 miles, which means Bezos, Branson and their fellow passengers are all be eligible to get their commercial astronaut wings.

Bezos’ flight was a critical milestone for Blue Origin and the commercial spaceflight industry, which until now has been dominated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Both Branson’s and Bezos’ flights could open up a potentially lucrative new market for high-priced trips to the edge of space.

Still, it will probably take some time to build up the space tourism industry, said Marco Caceres, a space industry analyst with Teal Group Corp., an aerospace and defense market analysis firm.

“The flights with these billionaires is good for exposure and attracts attention, but what’s going to add confidence is regularity,” he said. “It’ll be important for these companies to show that they can do lots of flights with no significant problems and no major accidents.”

In addition to suborbital trips offered by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, SpaceX is planning orbital tourism flights beginning later this year with the first mission to space with an all-civilian crew.

While the cost of suborbital and orbital trips will be out of reach for most people, Bezos has spoken about the importance of opening up access to space, particularly for young scientists and explorers.

“This is about building a road to space so that future generations can do incredible things in space,” he said Monday on the “TODAY” show.

Bezos, Branson and Musk have all faced backlash for what some consider to be ego-driven or frivolous ventures. But for Jim Cantrell, CEO of Phantom Space, an Arizona-based startup that aims to build and launch commercial satellites, the criticisms don’t take into account the potential long-term benefits of investing in space technologies.

“These guys are doing something that they think is fundamental to the future of humanity, and this is just an initial step,” said Cantrell, a former executive at SpaceX.

“It’s entrepreneurs who have helped solve a lot of the problems on Earth,” he said. “People ought to welcome this spirit of exploration, because it’s the same kind of mentalities that found cures for diseases and gave us better medicines.”

Read full article at NBC News

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos 'ready' for historic launch on New Shepard

Fox Business 20 July, 2021 - 09:00am

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Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos talks with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto ahead of his upcoming trip to space.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos spoke with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Monday, one day before his trip on the aerospace company’s New Shepard rocket for its first-ever crewed launch, saying he is "very excited." 

"We’re ready. The vehicle is ready," the Amazon founder told Cavuto on Monday speaking form inside the training capsule.

"This team is amazing. I feel very good about it and I think my fellow crewmates feel good about it too."

Bezos and the three passengers who will be accompanying him into space for the 11-minute spaceflight arrived in Texas on Friday to prepare for the launch.

Accompanying Bezos are 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who replaces the anonymous winner of a live auction who bid $28 million; 82-year-old "Mercury 13" aerospace pioneer Wally Funk; and Bezos' brother, Mark Bezos, who called the trip an "honor," noting that the launch marks "the realization of a lifelong dream" for his brother. 

Last Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a Blue Origin license to carry humans into space on New Shepard.

The crew is scheduled to lift off Tuesday from a facility near Van Horn. 

"This is a tourism mission and it’s very important because it lets us practice and it will let more people get up into space and that practice is what will allow us to build the infrastructure to let the next generations of people really do amazing things in space," Bezos said. 

Marie Harf, Steven L. Miller and Jason Meister join 'Kennedy' to discuss the space battle of the billionaires

Bezos aims to become the second person to ride his own rocket into space, after Virgin Galactic founder and billionaire Richard Branson successfully reached the edge of space about one week earlier, flying 53 miles above the Earth before safely touching down.

To watch the full interview with Bezos and his crewmates tune into "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" at 12 p.m. ET Monday. 

The full interview will also air on Fox News Channel's "Your World" at 4 p.m. ET.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. FAQ - New Privacy Policy

Jeff Bezos' trip to space, Eid al-Adha, Game 6 of NBA Finals: 5 things to know Tuesday

USA TODAY 20 July, 2021 - 09:00am

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is set to blast into space, millions of Muslims worldwide will celebrate Eid al-Adha and more news to start your Tuesday.

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is set to go to space Tuesday after his company, Blue Origin, received government approval to launch a rocket. Bezos will board the rocket in Texas with his brother Mark; Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aviator who pushed for female inclusion in NASA's astronaut training programs; and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old man who will replace a mystery bidder who decided to postpone taking part in the historic trip. The crew covers two age-related records: both the oldest (Funk) and youngest (Daemen) to fly to space. Blue Origin’s flight should reach a maximum altitude of roughly 66 miles before parachuting into the desert. Bezos' trek into space comes after billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic launched on July 11. And like Branson's company, Blue Origin plans to start flying customers in the coming months.

The newest space race features billionaires who are investing in commercial space tourism. USA TODAY

Haitians are beginning a series of official ceremonies Tuesday to honor President Jovenel Moïse, nearly two weeks after he was assassinated at his home. Moïse's body was to lie in state starting before dawn in the capital of Port-au-Prince, officials said. He was shot multiple times during a July 7 attack. The ceremonies come as designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry prepared to replace interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who assumed leadership after Moïse's death with the backing of police and the military. Henry was chosen for the post by Moïse shortly before he was killed. It was not immediately clear when Henry would take over, but he promised in an audio recording that he would soon announce who would form a provisional consensus government to lead Haiti until elections are held.

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On Tuesday, millions of Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al-Adha, a religious festival commemorating Prophet Abraham's faithfulness to God after being tested with the unfulfilled command to sacrifice his son. The holiday also marks the end of the annual Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj, in which thousands of Muslims travel to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to worship in the Ka'bah, the most sacred site in Islam. Although many people in the United States observed the holiday for one day on Monday, Eid-al-Adha is a three-day celebration in Muslim-majority countries. Celebrations will also begin on Tuesday for several countries across the globe. Under usual circumstances, Muslims would visit mosques and have large community gatherings, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations may differ again this year. 

Only 60,000 vaccinated Saudi citizens, residents were selected from among hundreds of thousands of applicants to perform annual ritual. Video Elephant

Game 6 of the NBA Finals will see the Milwaukee Bucks attempt to win their first championship since 1971 as they take on the Phoenix Suns on their home floor Tuesday night (9 p.m. ET, ABC). The Bucks grabbed the pivotal victory in Game 5 thanks to another stunning play at an important time from two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and a brilliant night from guard Jrue Holiday. On the other side, the Suns relied too much on their own star player, Devin Booker, USA TODAY's Mark Medina writes. The Suns, the best road team during the regular season, will need to continue their solid play away from home if they want to force a Game 7 back in Phoenix. 

USA TODAY Sports' Jeff Zillgitt breaks down how Giannis Antetokounmpo has the potential to break out in the 2021 NBA Finals. USA TODAY

President Joe Biden will celebrate the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl title when the team visits the White House Tuesday. As the Bucs prepare for training camp, which opens next weekend, they'll celebrate capturing Lombardi Trophy with the president, something Tampa sports teams haven't gotten the chance to do when winning titles in recent years. The Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV in February. Biden has resumed the tradition of opening the White House to championship sports teams after an uneven record of such visits under the Trump administration.

SportsPulse: Tom Brady made the right call. By leaving New England and joining Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay he was able to get the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl in 18 years. USA TODAY

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Wake Up Call: Getting ready for Bezos Space Flight

WCVB Channel 5 Boston 20 July, 2021 - 09:00am

Jeff Bezos

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