How to watch Jeff Bezos go to space

Imagine that you have infinite money. Just one unstoppable amount of dollars-the ability to buy anything and destabilize everything. Do you use it for end hunger in the world? Do you take genuinely meaningful action to mitigate the climate crisis? Ha ha, no. You go to space! Or at least you do if you are Jeff Bezos. Or CEO of Virgin Richard branson.

Bezos’ Blue Origin will launch a team that includes former Amazon CEO, his a little less in sight brother, a pioneer octogenarian pilot, and a young Dutch physics student to the outer edges of the planet. (WIRED’s Steven Levy will be reporting live from the launch site, so keep an eye out for his dispatches.)

If you want to watch, here are the details:

  • The launch will be broadcast on the Blue Origin website. here is the link.
  • The broadcast starts at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time July 20. The actual launch is targeting 9:00 a.m.ET, but expect some delays. (As with all take-offs, this time depends on the weather, the whims of random animals, or any number of technical snafus. Launch a rocket is dangerous, and things can go wrong.)

The flight itself should take around 11 minutes. And while there are risks involved whenever you mix humans and space flight, experts expect things to turn out well.

This event is quite historic. There have only been a handful of commercial crewed space launches, and this is Blue Origin’s first. (If you count the score, Virgin did another crewed flight. Musk’s SpaceX sent people into space. for a while now, although none have yet been civilians.) Thanks to a last-minute intervention change of reservation, the launch also now has the distinction of carrying both the youngest and the oldest person to ever be in space. It’s especially cool for 82-year-old passenger and ex-pilot Wally Funk, who had previously been turned down forever dream to travel in space.

This launch is also a big deal for Bezos, obviously. The billionaires had locked themselves in a cold war between pals, each eager to make history as the very first leader of a space tourism brand to jump into the thermosphere. Branson took the win last week, with a explosive mission in his Virgin Galactic shuttle. Bezos will try for second place, although Blue Origin has been would like to emphasize that the limit of what constitutes space is a bit contentious. The Bezos gang’s parabolic journey will take them beyond the Karman line– or 62 miles up, the round number of the US Department of Defense that marks the limit of space (the Federal Aviation Administration uses a more lenient distance of 50 miles, where Branson flew last week) – and the keep up there just long enough to tickle the abyss. It will probably take a long time to ensure that the price tag future trips appeal to those who have dough.

Of course, these high-altitude ambitions have been criticized by critics, who point out things like how all the space billionaires’ money avoid paying in taxes could be used to finance public resources like NASA. (You know, the agency that’s been sending humans into space for 60 years.) Or that Bezos has spent the past two decades overseeing a business who had a serious impact on the planet’s environment and a controversial history with workers’ rights defenders. The company loses some of its egalitarian “giant leaps for humanity” luster when it centers on a guy whose employees had to pee in bottles while on the clock.

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