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Jeff Bezos will be one of the first humans his company sends to space. Here's how risky that really is

June 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.5%. 1 min read.

Jeff Bezos can have anything. He could circle the globe in a private jet or sail it forever in a fleet of megayachts. He could afford to buy a the whole NFL; he could buy an archipelago for his family and friends; he could buy over 65,000 Bugatti Chirons (base price $2.9 million), even though only 500 are being built. As the world's richest person, the possibilities are endless. But Bezos appears ready to risk it all for an 11-minute ride to space.

Though the risks are not necessarily astronomical for Bezos' jaunt to the cosmos, as his space company Blue Origin has spent the better part of the last decade running the suborbital New Shepard rocket he'll be riding on through a series of successful test flights.

Still, what Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and the winner of an online auction, will be doing -- going on the very first crewed flight of New Shepard, a fully autonomous suborbital rocket and spacecraft system designed to take ticket holders on brief joy rides to space -- is not entirely without risk.

Here's what Bezos' flight will look like and the extent to which people are taking their lives in their hands when they go to outer space these days.

Blue Origin's New Shepard flights will be brief, up-and-down trips, though they will go more than 62 miles above Earth, which is widely considered to be the edge of outer space.

Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule, which is fully autonomous and does not require a pilot, has never had an explosive mishap in 15 test flights.

And the nature of Bezos' flight means it comes with some inherently lower risks than more ambitious space travel attempts.

by summa-bot

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