On the 20th of July 2021, the much-anticipated Jeff Bezo’s trip to the Space aboard the Blue Origin’s spacecraft in what appears to be a new race to commercializing space tourism by renowned billionaires. He is the founder of the American global e-commerce giant Amazon. Jeff Bezos recently stepped down from the CEO of Amazon, leaving the position to its current CEO, Andy Jassy.
Touted as the richest person globally, He is set to take Blue Origin’s first commercial flight to Space. This maiden flight is expected to set the stage for future voyages into Space as a tourist activity. Blue Origin is a privately funded space manufacturer owned by Jeff Bezos and is the spacecraft manufacturer that Jeff Bezos shall travel in.
Recently, fellow billionaire Richard Branson through his company, Virgin Galactic, is seen as a competitor to Blue Origin. The trips are expected to include a few minutes in Space overseeing the earth floating in the same. His Maiden flight is scheduled just a few days after Richard Branson’s maiden flight.
The company auctioned tickets for the individuals that would accompany Jeff Bezos to Space. All the tickets have been sold out. The proceeds from the sales have been dedicated to charity.
Just a few days before the takeoff, Jeff Bezos has also announced that he has pledged the funds to the Smithsonian institution. He says that the 200 million dollars pledged are to aid the institution in promoting space education on earth. The Smithsonian shall use the Seventy million dollars to renovate its building with more sophisticated technology and the rest of the funds to launch a new education center focused on science and engineering. The center shall be connected to the Smithsonian Museum and shall bear Jeff Bezo’s name.
The Secretary of the Smithsonian, Lonnie Bunch, who is in charge of the 19 museums under the Smithsonian, indicated that the center’s setup has been in the organization’s long-term plans. They only lacked the funding. He further stated, “So to be able to do this, to make it a center that is going to help reach out through STEM to underserved audiences and rural communities, it really allows the Smithsonian to do what I think is one of our major priorities.”
The center has also indicated that Jeff Bezos shall be offered a chance to give input in the planning process to take advantage of his creativity.