Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos 'ready' for historic launch on New Shepard
Liftoff set for Tuesday
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos spoke with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Monday, one day before his trip on the aerospace company’s New Shepard rocket for its first-ever crewed launch, saying he is "very excited."
"We’re ready. The vehicle is ready," the Amazon founder told Cavuto on Monday speaking form inside the training capsule.
"This team is amazing. I feel very good about it and I think my fellow crewmates feel good about it too."
Bezos and the three passengers who will be accompanying him into space for the 11-minute spaceflight arrived in Texas on Friday to prepare for the launch.
Accompanying Bezos are 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who replaces the anonymous winner of a live auction who bid $28 million; 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk; and Bezos' brother, Mark Bezos, who called the trip an "honor," noting that the launch marks "the realization of a lifelong dream" for his brother.
Daemen is about to become the youngest person in space joining Funk, who will become the oldest at age 82.
The teen tourist was going to be on the second launch for paying customers, according to Blue Origin, however, once the auction winner dropped out, the company seized on the idea of flying the oldest and youngest people in space on the same flight, according to a family spokesperson.
Funk is one of 13 female pilots who went through the same tests in the early 1960s as NASA’s Mercury 7 astronauts, however, never made it into space because only men were allowed at the time.
Speaking of Funk Bezos said, "She outperformed all of the men and we can confirm in our training here that she’s still outperforming all of the men and she can outrun all of us."
He called her "a role model for resilience and grit."
Funk told Cavuto, "We are going to show the world what can be done in space."
Cavuto asked Bezos on Monday, "How soon do you think that paying customers will be paying a lot less" than millions of dollars for the spaceflight.
Bezos clarified that the $28 million price tag was "a special price because that money is being donated to charity and it was also for the first seat," noting that the price will decrease over time.
"That’s what happened with commercial air travel," Bezos told Cavuto. "You have to start somewhere and you have to work hard on getting it to be more efficient, more practical and less expensive."
JEFF BEZOS WILL TRAVEL TO SPACE ON BLUE ORIGIN ROCKET
Last Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a Blue Origin license to carry humans into space on New Shepard.
The crew is scheduled to lift off Tuesday from a facility near Van Horn.
"This is a tourism mission and it’s very important because it lets us practice and it will let more people get up into space and that practice is what will allow us to build the infrastructure to let the next generations of people really do amazing things in space," Bezos said.
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Bezos noted that he and his crewmates were spending time on Monday practicing for potential emergencies, including a fire in the capsule.
He acknowledged that he doesn’t believe something like that will arise, but said it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
Bezos aims to become the second person to ride his own rocket into space, after Virgin Galactic founder and billionaire Richard Branson successfully reached the edge of space about one week earlier, flying 53 miles above the Earth before safely touching down.
On Monday, Bezos stressed that launching into space from a tourism perspective is not a competition and is about building a road for future generations.
The full interview with Bezos and his crewmates aired on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" and Fox News Channel's "Your World" on Monday.
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FOX Business’ Audrey Conklin, Julia Musto, Daniella Genovese and The Associated Press contributed to this report.