Space race

First Blue Origin astronaut launch: 10 moments that got Bezos here

Ready for liftoff.

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Blue Origin’s first crewed rocket flight is set for July 20, 2021 — and founder Jeff Bezos will be among the first people the New Shepard suborbital rocket carries to space.

Here are 10 moments that made the milestone for commercial space flight possible.

Blue Origin

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10. Mercury 13 training — 1961

After completing astronaut training, aviator Wally Funk was denied the chance to go to space when the Women in Space program was shut down. At age 82, she’s flying aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard.

9. Apollo 11 Moon landing — July 20, 1969

Bezos says the Apollo 11 moon landing inspired a lifelong fascination with space. His trip aboard New Shepard is set for the 52nd anniversary of the landing.

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8. Blue Origin founded — September 8, 2000

Founded in 2000, Blue Origin kept details of its work quiet for many years.

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7. NASA Space Act Agreement funding — 2011

Blue Origin received $22 million from NASA to develop a system to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

6. First developmental test flight — April 29, 2015

Blue Origin launched its first rocket in a Texas test facility. The crew capsule was recovered afterward, but the rocket was lost.

Blue Origin

Blue Origin

5. First ground landing of a reusable rocket — November 24, 2015

Blue Origin was the first company to successfully vertically land a reusable rocket on the ground after a flight to space.

4. First reuse of a Blue Origin rocket — January 23, 2016

Blue Origin reused a rocket that had made the trip to space for a second successful launch.

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3. Blue Origin unveils New Glenn — September 12, 2016

Blue Origin revealed its New Glenn orbital rocket, showing that it has ambitions for more than suborbital space tourism.

Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos

2. Crew Capsule 2.0 test flight — December 12, 2017

The first test flight of Blue Origin’s Crew Capsule 2.0 carried 12 experiments to space, along with its first human-ish passenger — a test dummy dubbed Mannequin Skywalker.

1. Bezos joins the New Shepard crew — June 7, 2021

Bezos announced that he would be aboard the first crewed Blue Origin flight, along with his brother Mark.Blue Origin

Liftoff for the first crewed New Shepard flight is set for 9 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, July 20.

Blue Origin

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