What Time Will Jeff Bezos Go to Space, and How Long Will He Be up There?

Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin has said the crew of its upcoming New Shepard mission are "go for launch" today after completing their training.

The mission is the first crewed flight of the New Shepard launch vehicle—a self-landing rocket that the company has been working on for years.

It will come hot on the heels of Virgin Galactic's first fully manned spaceflight. The competing space tourism company launched its founder Richard Branson into space just over a week ago.

What time will Jeff Bezos go to space?

The launch is due to take place at 9 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 20.

The rocket will lift off from Blue Origin's Launch Site One complex, based in the Guadalupe Mountains in the West Texas desert.

How long will he be up there for?

The entire mission from launch to landing will last about 10 or 11 minutes.

Bezos and the crew will be in what Blue Origin defines as space—at an altitude above the Kármán line, or about 100 kilometers above Earth—for about a minute or so.

The crew will experience weightlessness about three minutes into the flight, once their capsule detaches from the New Shepard rocket.

They'll have to strap back into their seats about three minutes later as the capsule descends.

Who is going to space with Jeff Bezos?

Bezos, the multi-billionaire founder of Blue Origin and Amazon, will be accompanied by three others during the mission.

They are Wally Funk, the 82-year-old pioneering female aviator; Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old student from the Netherlands who had purchased a ticket for a later launch; and Mark Bezos, Jeff Bezos' brother.

Daemen's seat on the mission was originally put up for auction and had been won by someone else for $28 million. However, a scheduling conflict meant their flight had to be swapped to a later one, and Daemen was selected for today's launch instead. It's unclear who the original auction winner was.

Why is Jeff Bezos going to space?

Because he wants to, and because he can. The world's richest person has long held an interest in spaceflight and said in an Instagram post last month: "I want to go on this flight because it's a thing I've wanted to do all my life."

Another way to answer the question is to look at the purpose of Blue Origin as Bezos' way of entering the burgeoning commercial space industry.

The company states its overall purpose is to create a future in which "millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth."

Its first step to achieving this is to develop reusable launch vehicles like New Shepard, which bring down both the cost and turnaround time of launches.

It also wants to become profitable by offering space launch services to paying customers in the same way that SpaceX does.

Jeff Bezos speaking
Jeff Bezos speaking at an air, space, and cyber conference in Maryland in September 2018. He will be joined by three others on the Blue Origin flight. Alex Wong/Getty