Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to journey into space today
Bezos will be joined by passengers set to be the youngest and oldest astronauts to travel to space.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will journey into outer space later today (Tuesday, 20 July) on his own rocket.
Blue Origin, an aerospace company also founded by Bezos, will send its first crewed mission into space via its New Shepard rocket and spaceflight system.
The passengers on board will be Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, aviator Wally Funk and Dutchman Oliver Daemen.
At 82-years-old, Funk will be the oldest astronaut to travel to space, while 18-year-old Daemen will be the youngest.
Daemen will also be the first paying customer to fly on board the New Shepard, marking the beginning of commercial operations for the programme.
The journey will consist of an 11-minute hop from Texas to beyond the Karman line - the internationally recognised boundary of space in which the passengers will experience weightlessness - and back again.
Earlier this month, Virgin founder Richard Branson flew up to the edge of space on his Virgin Galactic rocket plane.
However, both billionaires have stated that proving space tourism is viable is not a competition.
"This isn't a competition, this is about building a road to space so that future generations can do incredible things in space," Bezos told US media.
Liftoff for the New Shepard is currently targeted for 8am local time (2pm Irish time).