December 8, 2021

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Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos launch on New Shepard: Live updates

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Blue Origin’s New Shepard launch vehicle lifts from the company’s West Texas launch site on a suborbital test flight. Blue Origin has set July 20 for its first crewed flight. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Blue Origin is three days away from making history with its first astronaut launch, which will launch the company’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and three other passengers on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. 

The mission, which will launch on Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard rocket and space capsule, will lift off from the company’s  Launch Site One in West Texas near Van Horn at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), and yes, there will be a webcast. It should start at about 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT) and cover the crew’s walkout to the rocket and other prelaunch activities. You can watch it on Space.com and on BlueOrigin.com

Blue Origin will hold a prelaunch news conference on Sunday (July 18) at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) to discuss details of the launch. That will be webcast on BlueOrigin.com and simulcast here on Space.com if possible.

Space.com will offer live updates of the mission here on launch day (which happens to be the 52nd anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing), as well as over the next few days leading up to the launch.

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Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin staff celebrate the successful landing of a New Shepard rocket.

Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin staff celebrate the successful landing of a New Shepard rocket. He will ride one on July 20, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin)
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Mark Bezos hugs his brother Jeff. The two will launch to space together on a Blue Origin New Shepard on July 20, 2021.

Mark Bezos hugs his brother Jeff. The two will launch to space together on a Blue Origin New Shepard on July 20, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin)
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Oliver Daemon, 18, will be the youngest person in space when he launches on Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft on July 20, 2021.

Oliver Daemon, 18, will be the youngest person in space when he launches on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft on July 20, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin)
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Wally Funk, 82, will become the oldest person to fly in space when she launches with Blue Origin on July 20, 2021.

Wally Funk, 82, will become the oldest person to fly in space when she launches with Blue Origin on July 20, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

This mission has been a long-time coming for Blue Origin, which Bezos founded in 2000. The company has flown 15 uncrewed test flights of its New Shepard rocket and spacecraft, culminating in an “astronaut rehearsal” flight in April 2021. The company wants to fly paying passengers (and scientists with experiments, too) on trips to suborbital space that fly higher than 62 miles (100 kilometers).

Launching on this flight will be Bezos, 57; his brother Mark Bezos, 53; aviation pioneer Wally Funk, 82; and physics student Oliver Daemon, 18, who is Blue Origin’s first paying passenger. 

Infographic: How Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket works

To raise awareness for its First Human Spaceflight, Blue Origin held a public auction for a seat on the flight, which was won by an anonymous bidder for $28 million. During the auction, Blue Origin announced that Bezos, his brother and Funk would be on the flight. 

But 5 days before launch, Blue Origin announced that the auction winner had opted out of the launch, citing schedule conflicts. Instead, Daemon joined the crew as his father Joes Daemon had submitted the second-highest bid in the auction. The amount has not been disclosed. 

As we prepare for Blue Origin’s press conference on Saturday, here’s a few videos on the upcoming mission from Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk and the company to tide you over. — Tariq Malik, Editor-in-Chief



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