On July 20th, Blue Origin founded by Jeff Bezos will be live to launch its first human flight at 6:30 am CDT / 11:30 UTC / 5:00 pm IST. The lift-off is expected to take place one hour after the live starts. Blue Origin’s New Shepard is set to launch from Launch one site in Texas. On-site view location is not available from the launch location. Live can be watched from the Blue Origin website/ Youtube.
After the launch, in the interview with CNBC, Jeff Bezos says thank you to Amazon employees. Without them, the historic spaceflight wouldn’t have happened. It was short and happened within a few minutes. But will be remembered forever in history.
"I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this," Jeff Bezos says on the Blue Origin flight. pic.twitter.com/uTeJhtPLwI
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 20, 2021
An hour later, after Richard Branson’s post, the Virgin Galactic Twitter page also posted a congratulations tweet.
It continues to be a great time for commercial space travel! We are encouraged by seeing more people exploring and conducting research in space, and creating a positive impact here on Earth. Congrats to @blueorigin on today’s successful flight, together we’ll open space for good! pic.twitter.com/NFJmFotjnt
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) July 20, 2021
Richard Branson congratulates Blue Origin on behalf of himself and the Virgin Galactic team. It shows how the space launched to take humans on space tour is not really a competition and should be celebrated.
Well done @blueorigin, @jeffbezos, Mark, Wally and Oliver. Impressive! Very best to all the crew from me and all the team at @virgingalactic
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 20, 2021
The American Science guy, Bill Nye congratulates Blue Origin for sharing a screen of CNBC live. He called it, “Nicely done”.
Congratulations to all at Blue Origin. Nicely done! pic.twitter.com/pONP0YAaqg
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) July 20, 2021
Nasa congratulates Blue Origin on its success. Adds, “We look forward to future flights with researchers and NASA-supported technology payloads aboard.” Once Jeff Bezos a report on how NASA failed to explain their reason to choose SpaceX for its payload launches. Now with this tweet, Blue Origin made yet another history.
🎉🚀Congratulations to the @BlueOrigin team on the first human flight of #NewShepard! We look forward to future flights with researchers and NASA-supported technology payloads aboard. https://t.co/1kiQ1NgNG3
— NASA (@NASA) July 20, 2021
A CNBC reporter shares a small video of the inside of Blue Origin in Space with the crew. As the crew plays with a skittle, it was a fun moment.
Blue Origin video from inside the New Shepard capsule in space:
Jeff Bezos: “Who wants a Skittle?” pic.twitter.com/SUO6sAYZAE
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) July 20, 2021
6:58 pm IST: After the landing, the team discusses their experience in space. Jeff Bezos points out that it was easy and natural. The Crew 7 makes sure the capsule is being grounded so that if an electric charge was present while they were in space, it will be stabilized.
6:52 pm IST: At T+10.19 the capsule lands on earth.
Our recovery team is headed out to meet Jeff, Mark, Wally, and Oliver for a celebration marking their return from space. Stay tuned to https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr for live shots from the capsule recovery. #NSFirstHumanFlight
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 20, 2021
6:49 pm IST: The booster is seen landing on earth by T+7 minutes. And by T+7.45 minutes the booster landed. We can hear the voices of Wally and Jeff Bezos enjoying the ride.
6:45 pm IST: Awaiting separation, the view of the outside rocket and the inside view from the rocket can be seen.
1 minute to launch: Check peeking out at the base of the rocket seen.
6:33 pm IST: The countdown is resumed and the launch is on time. And Gary Lai continues to explain the launch of New Shepard, and landing on the capsule.
6:18 pm IST: The launch may be delayed. The crew is inside waiting for more updates.
6:20 pm IST: Jeff and Mark Bezos’s sister Christina wishes them to go on their adventure and come back safely. The message was emotional and touched everyone’s hearts knowing Jeff’s childhood with his siblings.
6:07 pm IST: Astronauts are inside the capsule. Crew 7 is making sure all the belts are buckled and everyone is on their seats comfortably.
6:03 pm IST: All the four people going to be part of the historic moment was getting in the capsule. And get buckled up before the hatch is closed. All of it was practiced during the training period and the crew can do it without any hassle.
6:00 pm IST: Gary Lai talks about the New Shepard. The astronauts are in the astronaut safety shelter room. It is fireproof and can be used in case of fire outside. There are communications within the shelter, so the astronauts can go inside the capsule.
5: 53 pm IST: Wally Funk going to space is the best part of the launch. She was more eligible than any man, yet was rejected to go to space in the 1960s. Throughout the years, she tried getting in contact with many companies, organizations, and many others but couldn’t get to space. She is an inspiration for future generations of astronauts.
5:47 pm IST: Astronauts get into a Rivian to ride to the launch site. Every member of the crew is seen.
Scenes from #NSFirstHumanFlight astronaut load. pic.twitter.com/L7u1ZaYn60
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 20, 2021
5:44 pm IST: At T-46 minutes to launch the wait continues. Astronauts are to come by T-30 minutes and the hatch will be closed by T-24 minutes.
5:40 pm IST: New Shepard view from outside was shown. The capsule is specifically designed with safety and comfort in mind.
5:25 pm IST: A video on how Blue Origin is sending postcards by STEM aspiring students to space. The box of postcards has various kinds of goals that future generations dream of.
5:23 pm IST: Spacious capsule with gigantic windows was described. It is ten times the original capsule Alan Shepard traveled in. Passengers can unbuckle and experience the space from any window they wish to.
5:15 pm IST: Gary Lai talks about the safety of the rocket, and mentions the success of the previous two launches NS-14 and NS-15. And the anchor, Ariane, and Gary Lai continue to talk about the rocket, propellant, and backup systems. The system has more than two backups considering the safety of the passengers. Every Mechanism in the vehicle, every valve, and other parts have backups.
5:12 pm IST: Senior director, Gary Lai recollects of all previous launches of New Shepard were briefed. Where 13th mission was a perfect mission and by the 16th mission, the rocket is ready for the first human mission.
5:09 pm IST: The excitement is seen, Wally Funk’s excitement lights up the launch session. Live telecast starts with a note on favorable weather and is perfect for a space tour.
4:50 pm IST: Blue Origin updates on Twitter that the hatch will be closed at T-24. And astronauts will be in the capsule by T-30.
Launch coverage starts in 15 minutes on https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr. #GradatimFerociter #NSFirstHumanFlight
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 20, 2021
4:30 pm IST: Liftoff is targeted at 8:00 am EDT/5:30 pm IST, which is around 30 minutes after the live telecast starts. The rocket is set for launch on the launchpad.
#NewShepard is on the pad. The launch team completed vehicle rollout this morning and final preparations are underway. Liftoff is targeted for 8:00 am CDT / 13:00 UTC. Live broadcast begins at T-90 minutes on https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr. #NSFirstHumanFlight pic.twitter.com/oShmtRmA4n
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 20, 2021
Two days before the launch Blue Origin conducted a briefing session. Where Chief Executive officer Bob Smith and Director of Astronaut sales, Ariane Cornell answered various questions from the audience who joined the zoom live link. Some new things like Blue Origin generating new jobs in the market and working towards benefiting the economy came into the limelight.
As the launch is going to take place today, here are some things to know about the historic flight which is going to break multiple records.
Four hours prior to launch, Elon Musk congratulates
Blue Origin beat SpaceX to launch civilians into space. Founded two years prior to SpaceX, Blue Origin is set to work on the commercialization of spaceflights. While SpaceX has its own futuristic plans, Jeff Bezos is set to make history.
Best of luck tomorrow!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
As every update is coming, the launch SpaceX and Blue Origin comparison is continuous. While SpaceX fans who support a sustainable future argue that Starship is much better, Blue Origin is gaining its moment after Richard Benson’s first human flight to space.
American Actor and humorist, George Hann also tweeted, “Blue Origin launch is the potential effect of zero gravity on facial fillers” pointing out Jeff Bezos’s facial expression. Blue Origin was prone to memes right from the start, however, this kind of humor is less attacking.
Among the things we stand to learn from today’s Blue Origin launch is the potential effect of zero gravity on facial fillers.
— George Hahn (@georgehahn) July 20, 2021
Almost 18 hours before the live telecast, Virgin Galactic wished the Blue Origin team for a successful launch. Despite all the comparisons and competitions, the differences in each launch improve their advancement towards the future. The time of only astronauts going to space is soon going to be old.
Wishing the entire @blueorigin team a successful and safe flight from all of us @VirginGalactic. pic.twitter.com/LSZXk3LoaD
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) July 19, 2021
Recently, an Indian from Blue Origin’s team got popular as being the one who was rejected by NASA but is part of the team that built this historic flight. India continues to celebrate the launch as one of them from a modest background in Kalyan, Maharashtra made it big.
Managing director of Escorts Group tweeted congratulations to both Sirisha Bandla in Virgin Galactic and Sanjay Gavande in Blue Origin.
After Sirisha Bandla flew with @virgingalactic, Sanjal Gavande, proves yet again the excellence of Indians across the 🌍
Battling stereotypes, she badges the position of one of the key engineers in @JeffBezos Team @blueorigin#Tuesdaythoughts #ProudIndianhttps://t.co/gHQruAaTSX
— Nikhil Nanda 🇮🇳 (@iamnikhilnanda) July 20, 2021
Ready to launch
On 20th June, the New Shepard is cleared for launch, and the capsule is ready to give the crew an experience of the space. As mentioned in the briefing session, the civilian crew who will be traveling were trained for 48 hours on the launch.
The mission is called NS-16, where this will be the New Shepard rocket’s 16th launch into space. Furthermore, the lift-off is expected to take place around an hour after the live starts. It could be around 9 am EDT/ 6:30 pm IST.
There is a possibility of having slight rain today in Texas. But Blue Origin predicts that the air will be clear by launch time. Additionally, the flight will last 11 minutes, there are no details about hosting. However, Eric Berger from Ars Technica recently shared a picture on Twitter showing Blue Origin Press site.
Greetings from the Blue Origin press site. It’s a lovely morning in the desert. pic.twitter.com/sYXX4l4Eru
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) July 20, 2021
As the rocket launches into the sky, it will reach the suborbital space, till the Karman line which is 100 km above the earth’s surface. During the Virgin Galactic spaceflight last week, the difference between both launches was pointed out at the distance. Richard Benson’s space trip only when 80km from the earth.
Two hours prior to the launch, Gary Lai, Blue Origin’s head of safety talks with Bloomberg on the safety precautions taken by them. Concerns on weather conditions were addressed, and that there could be a risk of delay. And talks about New Shepard’s backup system which will ensure the crew safely lands.
Blue Origin's Head of Safety Gary Lai discusses the precautions the company has taken to prepare for their first manned space flight carrying owner Jeff Bezos. https://t.co/IbmEu4OEOJ pic.twitter.com/ASHfDTaoan
— Bloomberg (@business) July 20, 2021
Know the passengers
The team includes the oldest human to travel to space and the youngest human to travel to space. Besides these paying customers, Jeff Bezos himself and his brother Mark Bezos will be part of Blue Origin’s New Shepard’s remarkable flight.
Wally Funk is an 82-year old is aviation pioneer who couldn’t go to space two decades ago. Oliver Daemen is the 18-year-old to travel with Jeff Bezos on the first human flight. He happened to be in the launch as a replacement. Initially, the winner of the auction who paid $28 million for the ticket was supposed to be there. However, due to schedule conflicts, Daemen gets to go to space.
Prior to the launch, CNN interviewed Jeff Bezos and the crew, one day ahead of the launch. The importance of this launch was conveyed. This is the beginning of future spaceflights. Wally Funk who couldn’t go to space earlier is not excited and waited for this day to come.
Bezos said, “People keep asking if I’m nervous. I’m not really nervous, I’m excited. I’m curious. I want to know what we’re going to learn,”
Know the rocket thats going to make history
New Shepard is a 60-foot tall rocket, fully autonomous capsule which will be controlled/ monitored from outside. The rocket is named after the astronaut, Alan Shepard who was part of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts.
It is a commercial rocket specially designed for paying customers. If you observe, every passenger gets a window. It is to make sure the passengers get maximum view of the space.
New Shepard is a fully reusable, vertical landing and vertical take-off rocket. It has a single booster known as the propulsion module. The capsule is a pressurized capsule with the capacity to carry 6 people. Having 15 cubic meters of volume inside, there is enough space for passengers to look around and experience space. Aerojet Rocketdyne