Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos flies into space next month

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Jeff Bezos, President and CEO of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, speaks at the Economic Club of Washington DC’s Milestone Celebration Dinner in Washington, DC, September 13, 2018. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts / File Photo

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(Reuters) – Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos said Monday that he and his brother Mark will make the first manned spaceflight for his rocket company Blue Origin next month.

“I’ve dreamed of going into space since I was five years old. On July 20, I’ll take this trip with my brother,” said Bezos, one of the richest people in the world, in an Instagram post.

Bezos, who will step down as head of Amazon (NASDAQ 🙂 on July 5, will join the winner in an auction for a seat on Blue Origin’s first spaceflight.

Bezos, billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson, have invested billions of dollars in their rocket startups, but Bezos will be the first of the three to actually take a rocket developed by his own company into space.

The Blue Origin spacecraft, which is supposed to carry Bezos and others, has completed 15 test flights, none of which had passengers on board.

Blue Origin closed the first round of auctions last month and said it had received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries without announcing the highest bid from the round.

According to the Blue Origin website, the current highest bid in the current second auction round was $ 2.8 million. (www.blueorigin.com)

His new Shepard rocket-and-capsule combination is supposed to fly six passengers autonomously more than 100 km above the earth into suborbital space, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and the curvature of the planet in front of the pressurized capsule see returns to earth under parachutes.

The capsule has six observation windows and is almost three times the size of a Boeing (NYSE 🙂 747 jetliner and the largest ever deployed in space, Blue Origin said.

Bezos’ rocket startup plans its first suborbital sightseeing trip on July 20, a milestone in a competition that heralds a new era in private commercial space travel.

The startup planned to bill passengers at least $ 200,000 for the ride, based on an assessment of Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE 🙂 Inc’s competing plans and other considerations, Reuters reported in 2018, but its mindset might have changed.

Global insurers are just getting started when it comes to space coverage. Life insurers don’t ask about space tourism or exclude it from their cover.

“You will sign this disclaimer and, unless there is gross negligence or willful misconduct, there is unfortunately no financial recovery if you do not survive,” said Richard Parker of Assure Space, a unit of AmTrust Financial.

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