The scheduled trip of Amazon. AMZN -0.67% com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos to the sting of space Tuesday is predicted to last only 11 minutes, but it’s been decades within the making. Mr. Bezos and three other passengers are scheduled to launch on Blue Origin LLC’s New Shepard spacecraft at 9 a.m. ET from a corporation facility in West Texas. The planned flight would be Blue Origin’s inaugural crewed mission and a milestone toward Mr. Bezos’ goal of developing a viable space business. In an early-morning tweet Tuesday, the corporate said the New Shepard ship had reached the launchpad, which is found a long way from a building where Blue Origin employees and guests on-site for the flight are expecting the event to start. The property, located in an arid basin, includes facilities for mission control and training, also because of the “barn,” where the New Shepard is stored.
Shortly after 8:15 a.m. ET, Mr. Bezos, and therefore the other crew members entered a vehicle and headed toward the launchpad. Mr. Bezos waved out the window because the vehicle drove about 2 miles to the location. The four passengers climbed the steps of the service tower before final checks before crossing a bridge to the launch tower and entering the RSS initiative capsule around a quarter-hour later. Mr. Bezos has been building toward the launch since 2000 when he founded Blue Origin. the corporate has hired staffers to develop rockets, engines, and spacecraft and now employs quite 3,500 people at facilities in Florida, California, and other locations.
In the run-up to today’s event, Mr. Bezos has been promoting Blue Origin’s launch using his personal Instagram account. One video showed him fist-bumping his brother during a blue flight suit; during a photo, he posed together with his fellow New Shepard passengers within the Texas desert. The flight is timed to coincide with the date in 1969 when the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon. In speeches, Mr. Bezos has cited that event as a key moment during his life and started his conviction that humanity must establish outposts within the system where people could live.
Mr. Bezos also has said he has invested around $1 billion annually in Blue Origin. The 57-year-old is taken into account the world’s wealthiest person, with a net worth above $200 billion, consistent with Bloomberg. Blue Origin is looking to realize traction during a space market that has attracted fresh investor attention, with many many dollars poured into startups and listed companies. Space flight has long been dominated by government agencies. However, more companies are working to position themselves for a sector that some analysts believe may grow rapidly within the coming decades in tandem with technological advances. Morgan Stanley has estimated that space-related revenue could triple to quite $1 trillion by 2040.
On July 11, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. founder Richard Branson traveled with five others about 54 miles up during a company spacecraft, a flight meant to assist spur tourism in space. Later this year, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name for Elon Musk’s SpaceX, plans to require four commercial passengers into orbit on one of the company’s Crew Dragon capsules. SpaceX has also been completing launches for commercial customers and government agencies. Space flights are risky, and therefore the vehicles that companies have designed to ferry humans to space are tested a fraction of the number of times that are typical for commercial planes. Executives at Blue Origin have expressed confidence in New Shepard’s taking over crew, noting the autonomously flown rocket has completed 15 consecutive trips.
“We’re able to go. we will go fly astronauts and do this safely,” Bob Smith, Blue Origin’s chief executive, said Sunday at an appointment with reporters. Also expected to hitch Mr. Bezos after two days of group training: his brother, Mark; Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pilot who trained during a program for female astronauts within the 1960s; and Blue Origin’s first paying customer, 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen. Ms. Funk and Mr. Daemen, also a pilot, would respectively be the oldest and youngest people to succeed in space.
The launch was originally meant to incorporate the one that paid on the brink of $30 million in an auction for a seat. Last week Blue Origin said Mr. Daemen would get on the ship instead because the winning bidder had a scheduling conflict. the corporate hasn’t disclosed who won the auction. Blue Origin is targeting a broader set of business goals beyond space tourism, including a push to win contracts with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other government agencies.
Last year, Blue Origin was a part of a team that competed to develop a replacement moon lander for NASA’s Artemis program, which seeks to return American astronauts to the moon as soon as 2024. The agency chose SpaceX to develop the initial lander, but Blue Origin filed a protest over the contract decision. Blue Origin has spent years performing on the New Glenn, a 321-foot rocket designed to lift major payloads into orbit. The space company has also been building a replacement engine for United Launch Alliance, a venture between Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., to exchange Russian-made engines currently used for sensitive military and intelligence launches. In an interview Monday with CNN, Mr. Bezos said that Tuesday’s launch will help Blue Origin make space trips more like commercial airline flights. “If we will do this, then we’ll be building a road to space for subsequent generations to try to do amazing things there,” he said.