Jeff Bezos, world’s richest man, set for inaugural space voyage

VAN HORN: Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, on Tuesday is set to blast off aboard his company Blue Origin’s New Shepard launch vehicle for a suborbital flight as part of a history-making crew — another milestone in ushering in a new era of private space travel.

The American billionaire is due to fly from a desert site in West Texas on an 11-minute voyage to the edge of space nine days after British rival Richard Branson was aboard his competing space tourism company Virgin Galactic’s successful inaugural suborbital flight from New Mexico.

Branson got to space first, but Bezos is due to fly higher — 62 miles (100 kilometres) for Blue Origin compared to 53 miles (86 kilometres) for Virgin Galactic — in what experts call the world’s first unpiloted space flight with an all-civilian crew.

Bezos, founder of e-commerce juggernaut Inc., and his brother and private equity executive Mark Bezos will be joined in the flight by two others. Pioneering female…

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