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Amazon's Jeff Bezos flies into space; liability issues remain



(Reuters) – Amazon billionaire founder Jeff Bezos said on Monday that he and his brother Mark will fly the first manned spaceflight from their rocket company Blue Origin next month.

“Ever since I was five years old, I have dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20, I will take that trip with my brother, "Bezos, who is one of the richest people in the world, said in an Instagram post.

Mr. Bezos, who will step down as Amazon chief on July 5, will enter the winner of an auction for a seat on the first space flight from Blue Origin.

Mr. Bezos, co-billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson have invested billions of dollars in their rocket launches, but Mr. Bezos will be the first of the three to actually travel into space on a rocket developed by his own company.

The Blue Origin spacecraft, which is scheduled to transport Herr Bezos and others, has undergone 1

5 test flights, none of which had any passengers on board.

Blue Origin closed the first round of the auction last month, saying it had received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries without submitting the highest bid from the round.

The current highest bid was $ 2.8 million in the current second auction round, according to Blue Origin & # 39 ;s website.

Its new Shepard rocket-and-capsule combo is designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 100 km above the earth into suborbital space, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the plane's curvature before the pressurized capsule and earth under parachutes.

The canister has six observation windows and is almost three times as tall as those on a Boeing 747 jetliner and the largest ever used in space, Blue Origin said.

Mr. Bezos' rocket launch is aiming for July 20 for its first sightseeing tour, a milestone in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.

The launch planned to charge passengers at least $ 200,000 for the trip, based on an assessment of rival plans by Mr. Branson's Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and other considerations, Reuters reported in 2018, but its thinking may have changed.

Global insurance companies are still at an early stage when it comes to covering debts around space travel. Life insurance companies do not ask about space tourism or exclude it from their coverage. Says Richard Parker from Assure Space, a unit of insurer AmTrust Financial.

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