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Blue Origin set to launch Jeff Bezos, others into space Tuesday

Blue Origin Explainer
Posted at 1:49 PM, Jul 19, 2021

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — When Blue Origin launches people into space for the first time, founder Jeff Bezos will be on board.

Blue Origins says its New Shephard rocket is set to launch Tuesday at about 7:30 a.m. ET.

There will be no test pilots or flight engineers for the debut flight from Texas, just the founder of Amazon, his brother, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer, and a teenage tourist.

The 18-year-old, Oliver Daemen, will become the youngest in space and the 82-year-old, Wally Funk, is set to be the oldest.

The teen's father had bid on a seat during an auction last month. Blue Origin says the yet-to-be-identified winner of the charity auction has a scheduling conflict and will take a future flight.

The capsule is entirely automated, unlike Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rocket plane that required two pilots to get him to space and back a week ago.

The billionaire rivals are gearing up to launch anyone willing to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a brief space hop.

The sprawling spaceport of Blue Origin, the company founded by Bezos in 2000, is located about 25 miles outside of Van Horn, Texas, a town of about 1,800 residents.