Bezos set to soar into space today-What follows?: What you need to know
· When Blue Origin launches people into space on Tuesday, founder Jeff Bezos will be on board.
· No test pilots or flight engineers for debut flight from West Texas, just Bezos, his brother, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer and a teenage tourist. The capsule is entirely automated, unlike Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rocket plane that required two pilots to handle it.
· Bezos caught the space bug at age 5 while watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's moon landing on July 20, 1969. He said 'to see the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It's a thing I've wanted to do all my life.
· Blue Origin's 18 meters new Shepard rocket will elevate towards space at three times the speed of sound or Mach 3, before separating from the capsule and returning for an upright landing. The passengers will experience three to four minutes of weightlessness, before their capsule parachutes onto the desert just 10 minutes after liftoff.
· Blue Origin, though, offers the biggest windows ever built for a spacecraft. Bezos purchased the desolate, arid land for launching and landing rockets. The closest town is Van Horn, with a population of 1,832.
· Blue Origin is expected to open ticket sales soon after Bezos flies and has already some of the other auction bidders in the queue. The company has not disclosed the cost of a ride. The fourth seat on the upcoming flight was auctioned off for $28 million, as a result, 19 space advocacy and education groups are getting $1 million each, with the rest to be used by Blue Origin's club for the future for its education effort. It's mega New Glenn will be capable of hauling cargo and eventually crew into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, possibly beginning late next year.
· Blue Origin also has its eyes on the moon. Its proposed lunar lander, Blue Moon, lost to SpaceX Starship in NASA's recent commercial competition to develop the technology for getting the next astronauts onto the moon. Blue Origin is challenging the contract award, as is the other competitor.