Jeff Bezos flying to space
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin: Successful 'New Shepard' Test Flight Brings Amazon Boss Closer to Space Tourism Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The fully automated Blue Origin is space bound on Tuesday morning as its maiden crew makes final preparations for launch. Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos along with his 3 passengers arrived in Texas last Friday all set to make their mark in commercial spaceflight history.

Just more than a week after UK business magnate and Virgin founder Richard Branson flew to the edge of space on board his company space plane Virgin Galactic, the Blue Origin will be flying its crew at a slightly higher altitude than Branson’s winged space plane.

Blue Origin team

Speaking with Fox Business on Monday, Bezos took pride in revelling in the company of his team made up of his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.

The Blue Origin’s maiden crew will be carrying both the oldest and youngest persons into space in its 11-minute spaceflight.

With an accomplished career in aviation, 82-year-old Funk will be the oldest recorded astronaut to reach space. Funk became the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. She topped the space training project Mercury 13 which trained women for space ventures using the same training standards applied to male astronauts. Having taken her first flying lessons at the young age of nine, Funk serves as chief pilot in several flight schools.

Funk applied three times with NASA to be part of its space program. However, she was turned down each time despite her impressive credentials for lack of an engineering degree and background as a test pilot. She has over 18,600 recorded flight hours and still flies every Saturday as an instructor.

Next to trailblazer Funk will be her youngest space contender, 18-year-old Dutch space enthusiast Daemen. He replaces the anonymous auction winner who bid $28 million, but dropped out of the maiden crew due to schedule conflicts and opted to go on a later flight.

Daemen is the son of Somerset Capital Partners founder Joes Daemen. His father had initially bid in the auction which bought the teen a seat in Blue Origin’s second commercial flight. Amazon grabbed the opportunity to bump up his seat with the idea of flying the oldest and youngest people in space together in the same flight. The teen holds a private pilot’s license and will be the first paying commercial space passenger.

Bezos’ New Shepard capsule boasts of the largest windows ever built into a spacecraft which will give its passengers spectacular views of the Earth as it flies more than 62 miles above it.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved the license for Blue Origin to carry humans into space on Monday as its crew preps and practices drills for potential emergencies that may occur during the flight.

How to watch livestream

To watch the historical launch of Blue Origin, keep tabs on the details provided below:

Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Time of Liftoff : 9 a.m. EDT

Launch site: In the desert near Van Horn, Texas

On TV: Watch CBS News Special Report coverage on your local CBS station — coverage begins at 8:53 a.m. EDT

Online stream: Watch live on CBSN on your mobile or streaming device — coverage begins at 8:15 a.m. EDT.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos speaks after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award during the the 70th International Astronautical Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on October 22, 2019. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

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