Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin gives first-ever look inside its Crew Capsule

The biggest windows EVER flown into space, comfortable helicopter seats and cameras everywhere: The futuristic interior of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Crew Capsule which will take tourists to the edge of space at 340,000ft altitude

  • Blue Origin gave a tour of its Crew Capsule during a live launch of its rocket
  • The capsule is meant to take up to six passengers into orbit
  • About one-third of the capsule is designed with windows for viewing
  • There are also handles inside for the crew to hold onto while they float inside 

Minutes before Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launched its reusable New Shepard craft Tuesday, the firm provided a first-ever look inside its Crew Capsule that will one-day take tourists into orbit.

The capsule is designed to carry up to six passengers, who will float in zero gravity for 10 minutes while taking in the views at some 340,000 feet above Earth’s surface.

The structure is designed with reclining seats based on those in a helicopter and fitted with the largest windows to every fly into space.

There are also a number of cameras placed throughout the interior, which allow travelers to share their memories that many may say are out of this world.

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Minutes before Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launched its reusable New Shepard craft Tuesday, the firm provided a first-ever look inside its Crew Capsule that will one-day take tourists into orbit

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 and established a launch facility in 2015 in West Texas for its rockets New Shepard and New Glenn, which is set to launch next year.

New Shepard has conducted seven flights returns – Tuesday’s mission made a new record for recycling rockets.

And this rocket is the key player in sending humans to suborbital space.

Blue Origin has discussed its tourism venture for years, but only provided the world with a look of the capsule Tuesday – minutes before New Shepard took off.

The capsule sits atop the New Shepard rocket (pictured) and is designed to carry up to six passengers, who will float in zero gravity for 10 minutes while taking in the views at some 340,000 feet above Earth’s surface.

The crew capsule sits atop the 60-foot tall rocket and features large windows measuring 2.4 feet wide and 3.6 feet tall.

Ariane Cornell, director of astronaut and orbital sales at Blue Origin, gave the live tour during the online event and said: ‘These are the largest windows to every be flown in space.’

‘In fact, over a third of the capsule is windows. Six seats, six windows. Everyone gets a window seat.’

The seats are designed in the same fashion as those inside a helicopter, which use a scissor mechanism to eliminate any extra upward pressure during liftoff and downward pressure on the return to Earth – each seat reclines at about 70-degree angle.

The crew capsule sits atop the 60-foot tall rocket and features large windows measuring 2.4 feet wide and 3.6 feet tall

The seats are designed in the same fashion as those inside a helicopter and recline at about a 70-degree angle

The seats use a scissor mechanism to eliminate any extra upward pressure during liftoff and downward pressure on the return to Earth

There are areas of the capsule, noted in blue, that are made as handles for crew members to hold on to while they float in zero gravity.

The structures are fitted around windowsills, the ceiling and a center stand, along with soft padding lining the entire interior.

‘Last but not least, we’ve kitted out the crew capsule with a lot of cameras,’ said Cornell.

‘We want you to be able to share your memories with your loved ones for years to come.’

‘What is so wonderful about the New Shepard system is that whether you are a tourist like you and me, and you want to go explore the stars or see your home from space.’

‘Or you’re an astronaut that works for NASA or another space agency, New Shepard is going to be your ride.’

Although Blue Origin has yet to reveal the cost and date of the vacations to space, it plans to shoot tourists 62 miles above Earth’s surface. At this altitude, passengers will experience weightlessness due to the zero gravity and see the curve of the planet with the darkness of space as the backdrop

Jeff Bezos (pictured) founded Blue Origin in 2000 and established a launch facility in 2015 in West Texas for its rockets New Shepard and New Glenn, which is set to launch next year

Although Blue Origin has yet to reveal the cost and date of the vacations to space, it plans to shoot tourists 62 miles above Earth’s surface.

At this altitude, passengers will experience weightlessness due to the zero gravity and see the curve of the planet with the darkness of space as the backdrop.

Bezos did note that passengers board 30 minutes before liftoff and shared some advice in 2017 interview.

‘Go to the bathroom in advance,’ Bezos said.

‘The whole thing, from boarding until you’re back on the ground, is probably 40 or 41 minutes. So you’re going to be fine.’

‘You could dehydrate ever so slightly if you have a weak bladder.’

THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule

Jeff Bezos’ space tourism project with Blue Origin is competing with a similar programme in development by Space X, the rocket firm founded and run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic, backed by Richard Branson.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.

The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.  

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and Blue Origin has successfully used a single New Shepard Rocket six times.

At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometres), just above the official threshold for space and landed vertically seven minutes after liftoff. 

Crewed missions for astronauts or tourists have yet to be announced.

SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the billionaire space race with numerous launches carrying NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.  

On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s own red Tesla roadster attached. 

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission. 

SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network. 

Musk hopes this will provide an interconnected web of satellites around Earth which will beam down free internet to people all around the world. 

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic are taking a different approach to conquering space. 

It has repeatedly, and successfully, conducted test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity spaceplane. 

The first took place in December 2018 and the latest took place on February 22nd.

The flight accelerated to over 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7). 

More than 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips, 

The billionaire mogul has previously said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX. 

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.

The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.

It climbs to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier craft, White Knight II, once it’s passed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere.

The spaceship will then make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 1.5 hours.  

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