Jeff Bezos space flight: what time is Blue Origin rocket launch - and how to watch billionaire going to space

The Amazon founder is following in the footsteps of Richard Branson by heading to space in his New Shepard rocket, alongside his brother Mark and two other crew members

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:08 pm

Billionaire Jeff Bezos is poised to head to space in a historic flight on Tuesday (20th July).

The Amazon founder will take off in the New Shepard spacecraft constructed by his own rocket company, Blue Origin.

Aboard the short flight will be Bezos and three other crew members, including both the youngest and oldest person to ever fly to the edge of space.

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Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, is set to fly to space on Tuesday aboard a rocket built by his private space company, Blue Origin (Getty Images/Blue Origin/MEGA)

The launch comes after Sir Richard Branson flew to space last week with Virgin Galactic.

So, when does Jeff Bezos go to space - and how can you watch the Blue Origin launch?

Here’s everything you need to know.

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Who are the New Shepard crew members?

Bezos will be joined by three other people for his space voyage, including his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and teenager Oliver Daeman, who will replace a mystery auction winner who bid £20million for the last seat on the New Shepard.

Daeman’s father bought him a seat on the rocket, but it is thought that Ms Funk and Mark Bezos did not pay for their tickets, instead being personally invited to join the flight by the Amazon billionaire.

What will happen during the Blue Origin flight?

All four passengers will sit inside an astronaut capsule at the top of the spacecraft, which is autonomous and will do all the flying work itself.

They will blast off from Launch Site One, in Texas, and fly hundreds of thousands of feet high.

After the New Shepard launches and the main engine cuts off, the capsule containing Bezos and his crew will detach at 250,000ft.

The passengers will then be weightless for four minutes and be able to take in brief views of planet Earth in all its glory at the altitude of 350,000ft.

But the crew will barely have reached the edge of space before they re-enter the atmosphere and start falling back down to the desert underneath parachutes.

Meanwhile, the rocket, which has so far made 15 uncrewed test launches to suborbital space, will have landed back on Launch Site One.

Tuesday, however, is its first ever crewed mission.

When does Jeff Bezos go to space?

The Amazon founder will leave the Earth on Tuesday 20th July - which is appropriately the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

His trip is only expected to last around 11 minutes, with the crew descending back down again for landing after briefly experiencing space.

If all goes to plan, Blue Origin has indicated that it will launch “a couple more crewed flights before the end of the year”.

How can I watch the Blue Origin launch?

Members of the public are able to watch the launch via an online live stream running on Blue Origin’s website.

The company will also be posting updates about its mission all day on its Twitter page.

The live stream begins at 7.30am eastern time, so 12:30pm in the UK, on 20th July.

Bezos and his crew are then scheduled to launch at 9am eastern, or 2pm UK time - 90 minutes after the stream begins.

However, it is possible that the rocket may launch later than that, as spacecraft take offs are often delayed for varying reasons, such as weather issues or health and safety problems.