Jeff Bezos is headed into space, and he’s taking his brother with him.
The Amazon CEO announced the news via a video on Instagram (below). In it, he says he and his brother Mark will be launching into space on July 20th aboard a rocket built by Bezos’ space company Blue Origin. The firm announced in May it would be targeting this date for a first crewed flight, but did not say that Bezos himself would be taking part.
In the Instagram video, Bezos says that taking a journey into space has been a lifelong dream for him, and that it will be “meaningful” to have his brother along for the ride.
“You see the earth from space and it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth,” says Bezos. “I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.”
The Bezos bros will be flying to the edge of space aboard Blue Origin’s reusable rocket New Shepard. The booster is topped by a gumdrop-shaped Crew Capsule with space for six passengers inside and large windows.
The rocket will blast off from the Earth, and once it reaches the Kármán line, 100 kilometers above sea level, the capsule will detach from the booster, allowing those inside to view the curvature of the earth and experience weightlessness. The booster and capsule will then land separately, with capsule landing in the West Texas desert with the help of parachutes.
In addition to Jeff and Mark Bezos, one seat on the flight will be claimed by the winning bidder of an ongoing online auction ongoing. The auction ends on June 12th and currently has a high bid of $2,800,000. It seems expensive, but forget about the experience of going to space: the winner will also have 10 minutes to bend the ear of the richest person on Earth.