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With a net worth believed to stand at a whopping $186.2 billion, Jeff Bezos has built one of the biggest empires in the world.

And as one of the world’s richest ever men, he can afford to buy pretty much anything he wants – but whilst some would be happy swanning in superyachts and splashing the cash on private jets, this isn’t enough for the Amazon boss.

He is risking it all to head off the planet next month as part of the first crew aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft.

The 11-minute ride to space is fraught with danger and Bezos will hurtle into orbit at an incredible 2,300 miles per hour – roughly three times the speed of sound.

But just how much is the tycoon putting on the line for his out-of-this-world experience?

The Daily Star took a look at the biggest dangers Bezos faces on his trip to space.

Not being able to breathe

The insane altitudes Bezos will reach come with a lot of risks – the Earth's atmosphere is normally not survivable above altitudes of 50,000 feet without a spacesuit – and Bezos will be travelling up to 350,000 feet, reports CNN business.

Although the capsule he hurtles away from Earth in will be pressurised, so he doesn’t need a space suit, there is no guarantee the cabin won’t lose pressure.

If disaster strikes and the cabin does lose pressure, the billionaire and anyone else on board will quickly die from a lack of oxygen and abnormal, intense force to his body.

The shuttle being ripped apart

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Even though Bezos’ flight is suborbital and carries less risk than a full orbital mission, it can still be deadly.

In 2014, disaster struck when a space plane from Virgin Galactic – similar to what Bezos will use – broke apart.

An early deployment of the feathering system, which keeps the craft stable as it plunges back to the ground, added drag on the shuttle.

It was ripped to pieces and one of the pilots died after the force tragically tore him to pieces.

Zero gravity wreaking havoc on body functions

When Bezos reaches the stage of his trip where he’ll experience zero gravity, his insides will immediately change.

Fluids inside his body will be in chaos as the muscles work to pump blood as if it was still on Earth.

This means fluids are pumped abnormally high in the body.

It can lead to a puffy head and increased pressure on the back of the eye – which can change its shape and even impact vision.

Lift off failure

The infamous Space Shuttle Challenger’s launch plunged seven brave astronauts to a fiery death after one of the machine’s joints failed at lift-off.

Millions were glued to their TV screens to see the expedition into space – but just 73 seconds into its flight, Challenger erupted into a ball of flame above the Atlantic Ocean.

Hot gas caused the fuel tank to collapse and tear apart, triggering a massive fireball.

Although the technology has come on since 1986, space is infamously unpredictable and another disaster can’t be ruled out.

Medical emergency miles above Earth

If a flight to Spain can cause popped ears and headaches from the pressure, it’s no surprise the risks in space are a lot more intense.

It’s not uncommon to throw up when experiencing weightlessness for the first time.

But there’s no way to fully predict how your body will react – and if any medical emergency occurs in orbit, there won’t be a doctor around to help out.

Extreme space weather

When you think of weather disruption, your mind probably goes to trains stopped by snowy sludge – not deadly energy hurtling out from the sun.

The freak space weather is unpredictable – it can cause vicious radiation, the breaking of electronics, and even all the satellites in space becoming defunct.

So if Bezos was to get caught in a space storm in orbit, with huge bursts of dangerous energy, radiation and debris, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t make it out alive.

  • Amazon
  • Space
  • Jeff Bezos

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