Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin promise details coming next week for how to buy first seat on spaceflight
Step aside, Mannequin Skywalker. Blue Origin is getting ready for real humans to man its New Shepard spaceship and replace the high-tech dummy that has flown on previous test flights.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos again said, “It’s time,” and pointed people to the Blue Origin website where a countdown clock is running to May 5. The site encourages people to sign up “to learn how you can buy the very first seat on New Shepard.”
Bezos’ post includes highlights from New Shepard’s first uncrewed test flight back in January, in which Blue Origin’s reusable booster rocket and its crew capsule performed a successful mission in West Texas. Bezos is seen zipping across the desert in his pickup truck emblazoned with his space venture’s feather logo.
Humans factored more heavily into an April 14 test flight, performing all the steps leading up to launch and following landing of the 10-minute, 10-second flight.
“This is as real as it can get without … sending them on a trip to space,” launch commentator Ariane Cornell said at the time.
Blue Origin employees are expected to go on the first crewed flights, but eventually the company will take on passengers paying a six-figure ticket price. Cornell said spacefliers will arrive at Blue Origin’s “astronaut village” three days before their trip, and go through training sessions and simulations before they fly.
Blue Origin builds the hardware for the suborbital New Shepard program at its headquarters in Kent, Wash.