Another week, another billionaire with a rocket company going to space.
Last week, it was Richard Branson earning his astronaut wings riding a space plane from Virgin Galactic, a company he founded 14 years ago, to an altitude of more than 50 miles above the skies of New Mexico.
On Tuesday, it will be Jeff Bezos, the richest human being in the universe, who will strap into a capsule built by his rocket company, Blue Origin, and blast off even higher, to more than 62 miles above West Texas.
Blue Origin had been aiming for the rocket to take off at 9 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, July 20. The company will begin coverage of the launch at 7:30 a.m. on its YouTube channel, or you can watch it in the video player embedded above. The date coincides with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Just after 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, the four passengers arrived at a bridge atop the launch platform, with each ringing a bell hung at one end before crossing to the capsule. They then began boarding the capsule one at a time, as support staff assisted them. The hatch of the capsule was closed shortly before 8:45 a.m.
Two brief holds in the countdown occurred, which have caused a short delay from the original lift off time.
While other space entrepreneurs have highlighted their rivalry with Mr. Bezos’ company in recent weeks, those competitors wished him and Blue Origin well in the hours ahead of the launch. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, tweeted “Best of luck” to Blue Origin early on Tuesday morning. Virgin Galactic on Monday bid Mr. Bezos and company “a successful and safe flight.”