Jeff Bezos and three other passengers are set to make history on Tuesday as part of the first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew when they launch to space via rocket and capsule developed by Bezos' private spaceflight company, Blue Origin. Set to depart from Blue Origin's Launch Site One in West Texas, the flight will coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and if successful, will cement the passengers’ place in history. While most weren't lucky enough to secure a seat on the New Shepard, a suborbital rocket system, you can thankfully watch the historic moment from the comfort of your earthly home.
The historic Blue Origin launch is set to start at 7:30 a.m. ET (with the actual launch taking place around 9:00) and the full 11-minute flight will be live-streamed on Blue Origin's website and also via a YouTube live webcast, which you can watch below. Additionally, there will be CBS News Special Report coverage on local CBS stations, with coverage also available for streaming on CBSN. As of 6:53 a.m. ET, "the launch team completed vehicle rollout this morning and final preparations are underway," Blue Origin said.
The Tuesday launch will mark the first Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft to carry passengers. It will follow 15 successful uncrewed test flights. Bezos officially announced plans to launch into space back in June, stating that "ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space." Named after astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is a reusable suborbital rocket system that features a crew capsule with room for six people. The spacecraft will fly above the Kármán Line, "the internationally recognized boundary of space." Blue Origin says the "11-minute flight on New Shepard will be the experience of a lifetime."
Aboard the aircraft will be Bezos and his brother, Mark Bezos, whom the Amazon CEO said he was excited to experience "the greatest adventure, with my best friend." The third passenger will be Wally Funk, who at 82 will become the oldest person ever to fly into space. Funk is a former test pilot who was one of the Mercury 13 women who underwent training in the 1960s. Also making history is 18-year-old Oliver Daemen from the Netherlands, who will become the youngest person to fly to space.
Speaking to Gayle King on CBS This Morning on Monday, Bezos said he was "excited" for the launch. He added, "people keep asking if I'm nervous. I'm not really nervous. I'm excited. I'm curious. I want to know what we're going to learn… We've been training. This vehicle is ready. This crew is ready. This team is amazing. We just feel really good about it." The launch will follow the successful July 12 launch of Virgin Galactic's first full-crewed flight, which saw Richard Branson make history as the first person to ride into space aboard a rocket he helped fund.