Jeff Bezos to soar into space in New Shepard rocket ship

20 July 2021, 07:49 | Updated: 20 July 2021, 08:59

Jeff Bezos is one of four making the trip to space.
Jeff Bezos is one of four making the trip to space. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Jeff Bezos is set to be launched to the edge of space later today, with his company Blue Origin sending four astronauts up aboard the New Shepard rocket ship.

The Amazon founder said he was more excited than nervous about the first human spaceflight for Blue Origin.

He is set to be joined by his brother Mark, 82-year-old Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen in the four-person crew.

Ms Funk and Mr Daemen will both make history as the oldest and youngest people to go into space respectively.

Ms Funk originally trained to be an astronaut in 1961, but never got the opportunity to go to space.

Meanwhile, Mr Daemen won a live auction for his place on the rocket, with his father bidding the highest amount after the original buyer backed out.

The rocket and capsule system being used for the flight will mean the group can float for around three minutes before strapping back in for their return to Earth.

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Speaking to CNN on Monday, Mr Bezos said: "I know it's going to change me and I'm excited to find out how."

"We really believe this flight is safe - I had friends say to me, 'How about the second flight or the third flight, why do you have to go on the first flight?' and the point is that we know the vehicle's safe.

"If the vehicle is not safe for me, it's not safe for anyone. We have never raced. We have taken this one step at a time, we're ready."

A live broadcast of the event will take place at 12.30pm UK time on the Blue Origin website, with a planned lift-off from Launch Site One in West Texas at 2pm.