FAA gives Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin approval for first human spaceflight on July 20 that will send him, Wally Funk – who will beat John Glenn to become the oldest person in space – and four others into orbit

  • Blue Origin received FAA approval to launch humans into space on July 20 
  • The firm had to verify its launch vehicle’s hardware and software worked safely 
  • The FAA confirmed the hardware and software met regulatory requirements
  • Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, Wally Funk and three others will be on the flight 

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin received approval Monday from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space on July 20.

The company was required to verify the rocket’s hardware and software worked safely during a test flight and the FAA confirmed it met regulatory requirements.

Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk and three other passengers are now set to liftoff from West Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space.

One of the tourists is the unnamed auction winner who paid $28 million for a seat – their identity is set to be revealed in the coming days.

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space on July 20

Blue Origin’s news comes just days after Richard Branson launched to the edge of space aboard Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed flight on Sunday, in which Bezos said he ‘can’t wait to join the club.’

And it seems that time is near.

Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Funk is an ‘honored guest’ for the mission, one of the last surviving members of the Mercury 13 mission. 

Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk and three other passengers are now set to liftoff from West Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space

Funk is an ‘honored guest’ for the mission, one of the last surviving members of the Mercury 13 mission. At the age of 82, Funk will become the oldest person to launch into space and surpass former Senator John Glenn who took a space shuttle flight in 1998 at the age of 77

Blue Origin’s news of FAA approval comes just days after Richard Branson launched to the edge of space aboard Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed flight on Sunday, in which Bezos said he ‘can’t wait to join the club’

At the age of 82, Funk will become the oldest person to launch into space and surpass former Senator John Glenn who took a space shuttle flight in 1998 at the age of 77.  

Mercury 13, or the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, were a group of 13 women pilots who were qualified to go to space, but were excluded due to their gender.

While in training, Funk scored higher than Glenn – who was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts chosen to fly on Project Mercury in the 1960s – on some astronaut testing. 

The launch site for Blue Origin’s first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, where the firm has launched New Shepard for previous flights.

New Shepard, which stands 60 feet tall, was specifically designed for Blue Origin’s space tourism venture and has successfully completed 15 test launches, with the latest on April 14.

The capsule that rides atop New Shepard seats six passengers and is equipped with reclining seats.

The capsule that rides atop New Shepard seats six passengers and is equipped with reclining seats

Blue Origin’s maiden voyage will, however, travel farther than Branson’s who reached an altitude of 53.5 miles over the New Mexico desert before gliding safely back to Earth

Each of the seats has a window that are said to the ‘the largest to fly into space.’  

Cameras line the interior, allowing travelers to share their memories that are truly out of this world.

The crew is set to travel 62 miles above Earth’s surface, where they will experience weightlessness due to the zero gravity and see the curve of the planet with the darkness of space as the backdrop.

Blue Origin’s maiden voyage will, however, travel farther than Branson’s who reached an  altitude of 53.5 miles over the New Mexico desert before gliding safely back to Earth. 

It is not clear how long they will spend just beyond the edge of space, but Blue Origin has stated in the past that paying customers will spend as much as 10 minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth.

If successful, this mission will put Bezos in the billionaire space race ahead of SpaceX CEL Elon Musk and just behind Branson.  

However, Musk has secured a seat on Branson’s Virgin Galactic for a price rumored to be $250,000. 

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