Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's CEO, and his three crewmates received 14 hours of flight training in preparation for their launch to space on Tuesday, July 20.
Whether the short amount of training will be sufficient remains to be seen. A report from Space has pointed out that a typical NASA astronaut (who is often drawn from a pool of applicants with extensive career experience in isolated or dangerous environments) receives two years of 'astronaut candidacy' training."
The Blue Origin spaceflight has no pilot and will therefore be autonomous. The training was conducted in a span of two days and was done in compliance to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations).
Jeff Bezos, Crewmates Receive Training
Jeff Bezos received the spaceflight training along with his three crewmates, including his brother, Mark, Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who replaced a passenger who paid $28 million just to be part of the spaceflight. Daemen is a physics student.
"Our training is comprehensive and gets crew prepped for everything they need to know about the vehicle," Blue Origin lead flight director Steve Lanius said in a press conference as quoted in a report by Space.
According to the report, Bezos and his crewmates "received training in how to use the capsule for nominal, 'off nominal' and emergency procedures." These include fire response, properly exiting the spacecraft in a hurry, and emergency mask usage.
According to Lanius, the training ends with mission rehearsals as well as a final exam. The mission rehearsals cover five different scenarios that can take place during the spaceflight.
Blue Origin's First Spaceflight: What You Should Know
Blue Origin's first spaceflight, which has been approved by the FAA, is set to take place on Tuesday, July 20. According to the report by Space, the spaceflight will be 11 minutes long and should give its passengers "at least three minutes of weightlessness before returning to Earth."
The Blue Origin CEO and his crewmates are set to board a suborbital rocket called New Shepard, which was named after the first American astronaut to go to space, Alan Shepard. According to the Blue Origin website, the New Shepard's capsule can fit six passengers.
The New Shepard is also autonomous. "Every person onboard is a passenger-there are no pilots," explains the website.
The suborbital rocket also features "the largest windows to have flown in space," a Blue Engine 3 (BE-3) engine, and landing gear as the rocket is aimed to be fully reusable.
Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin Spaceflight: How to Watch
Interested to catch Jeff Bezos' first ever spaceflight? The launch of the New Shepard and its passengers will be livestreamed on the Blue Origin website.
Viewers can also opt to watch via Space's webcast. The live stream is set to begin at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT). Liftoff is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT).
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Written by Isabella James