Jeff Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon and founder of Blue Origin, is finally going to space.
The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA approved the license of Blue Origin to launch Bezos and three other passengers to the edge of space on July 20.
The FAA approval clears the company's last regulatory hurdle before Bezos can fly into space.
Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin Flight Approved
On July 20, Blue Origin is preparing to launch its first crew of humans. The crew will be on board the suborbital New Shepard rocket, which launches from the company's site in Van Horn, Texas, according to Reuters.
The license given by the FAA to fly humans was approved on July 12, and it is valid until August. It came after the FAA reviewed the hardware and software of New Shepard.
Blue Origin released a statement after the New Shepard was approved and announced the liftoff date. The New Shepard is set for launch on July 20 at 9:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time with a live company broadcast on YouTube at 7:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time.
The mission will mark New Shepard's 16th launch, with its most recent one in April that served as an astronaut rehearsal, according to Marshal.
Race to Space
Meanwhile, Blue Origins' rival, Virgin Galactic, was a week ahead of them. Richard Branson, its billionaire founder, and three other company employees were launched into space on July 11.
Branson was previously set to fly on a later mission, but his flight was moved to beat Bezos in the space race.
The decision resulted in many sassy comments from Blue Origin, which tweeted an infographic days before the flight comparing Blue Origin's New Shepard to Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.
The license approval for Virgin Galactic came 16 days before its July 11 flight. Virgin Galactic uses a different method of getting its passengers to space, according to ABC News.
The SpaceShipTwo took off from a runway in New Mexico, and it was attached to a carrier plane before it was dropped at 45,000 feet and igniting its rocket engine to blast further toward space.
Branson and his fellow passengers landed safely on the same runway in New Mexico just minutes after it floated in microgravity.
Meanwhile, Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is a six-story-tall suborbital launcher that sends crew capsules 62 miles high into the sky.
Jeff Bezos' space flight will consist of astronaut candidate Wally Funk, Bezos' brother Mark, and an undisclosed fourth passenger who is said to have paid $28 million in an auction to win the seat. They will be on board New Shepard for the flight next week.
The FAA governs the safety conditions for buildings and people on the ground that are in close proximity of Blue Origin's launch site. The FAA does not govern the safety of the passengers onboard the space flight.
The current laws in the United States prevent the FAA from regulating the passenger's safety in spaceflights to give the commercial space sector enough flexibility to innovate.
Blue Origin and other space companies launching humans to space, such as Virgin Galactic, have passengers sign an informed consent form to ensure that they are aware of the safety risks of launching a rocket to space.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster