Jeff Bezos’s rocket firm, Blue Origin, is sending its next group of amateur astronauts to the edge of space in October. The company’s second human flight will take place on October 12 and will transport four tourists around 62 miles skyward aboard the company’s New Shepard rocket. The whole trip would take about 10 minutes and they’ll experience a few minutes of weightlessness before floating back down to Earth in a pressurized capsule.
The upcoming flight will involve four crew members, two of which have been announced. One is Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of Earth observation company Planet Labs. The other passenger is Glen de Vries, who founded the clinical research platform Medidata Solutions in 1999, which is now part of the French conglomerate Dassault Systèmes. Blue Origin said they’ll be joined by two other fliers whose names will be announced “in the coming days.” The company didn’t disclose how much any of the customers will be paying for their trips — and didn’t address last week’s report by the TMZ celebrity news outlet that the fliers would include Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on the original “Star Trek” series and in a string of movies that followed. The New Shepard spaceship would blast off to send its fliers beyond the 100-kilometer (62-mile) mark, giving them a view of the curving Earth beneath the black sky of space. The parachute-equipped crew capsule would then float back down to the West Texas desert while the booster makes an autonomous touchdown on a landing pad.
Blue Origin completed its first human flight in July with Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, octogenarian aviator Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen, the company’s first paying customer, on board. The company says it has sold $100 million worth of tickets to space.