Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin secured clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration to carry Travellers into space.
Reuters reports that a space tourism company founded by the former Amazon CEO has been approved to take passengers into space on its New Shepard spacecraft. Back in June, a crewed spaceflight was scheduled for July 20 and will include:
- Jeff Bezos.
- His brother Mark Bezos.
- Legendary aviator Wally Funk.
There is still a $28 million ticket buyer to be announced.
Blue Origin’s six-passenger New Shepard travels over 62 miles (100 km) beyond the Kármán line, the widely acknowledged point where space begins. The windowed passenger cabin detaches from the rocket near the apex of the flight, and the astronauts experience zero gravity before descending.
As the reusable rocket lands upright on the launch pad, a giant parachute allows the cabin to fall to the ground slowly.
New Shepard has completed 15 successful test flights, including a rehearsal where astronauts practiced entry and exit procedures before and after launch.
The FAA cleared virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo class spaceplanes in June. Founder Richard Branson piloted the company’s first crewed spaceflight Sunday. The third big space tourism company right now, SpaceX, has not received FAA approval for its Starship rockets.
Virgin Galactic’s space-planes were slammed in a tweet Friday by Blue Origin while its rocket features more oversized windows. In addition, the tweet pointed out that the space-planes did not reach the Kármán line, topping out about 13 miles short.