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Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon and aerospace company Blue Origin, said Monday he was “excited” to see how his journey to the edge of space Tuesday affected him.
“I’m so excited. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be like,” Bezos told the “TODAY” show’s Hoda Kotb during an interview Monday. “People say they go into space and they come back changed. Astronauts always talk about that.
“Whether it’s the thin limb of the earth’s atmosphere and seeing how fragile the planet is — that it’s just one planet. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to do to me,” he added.
Bezos will head to the edge of space Tuesday morning on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket with the ship’s crew, his brother Mark, 92-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen. Funk will be the oldest person to ever travel to space, while Daemen will be the youngest.
Daemen is Blue Origin’s first paying customer, having participated in an auction for the seat in June. The winner of that auction, who bid $28 million, backed out of the Tuesday flight due to “scheduling conflicts,” leaving a seat open for Daemen.
The New Shepard is expected to depart Texas at 8 am local time Tuesday. It will travel to the imaginary boundary 62 miles (100 kilometers) above sea level known as the Kármán line, where experts say space begins, as Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnsen previously reported. Passengers are expected to experience weightlessness and views of the Earth below them for about three minutes.
Bezos also in the interview Monday pushed back on claims he was part of a group of billionaires, including Elon Musk and Richard Branson, who were “rich guys on a joyride” to space. Branson beat Bezos to space, taking a Virgin Galactic flight earlier in July.
Branson earlier this month said there was no competition between him and Bezos. Bezos in the interview Monday said he agreed that the two billionaires were not in a competition.