What you need to be able to do as a private astronaut at BlueOrigin

BlueOrigin, the space company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has now announced the date of its first manned space flight. The New Shepard capsule will cross the official boundary to space in a suborbital flight. This means that all passengers will subsequently be real astronauts.

You can bid for a seat on the first flight on July 20 at BlueOrigin. The company has now announced the requirements that candidates must meet. Namely these (translated into everyday requirements):

  • Height between 1.52 m and 1.84 m.
  • Weight between 50 and 101 kg (110 / 223 lbs.).
  • Capable of donning a one-piece zippered flight suit
  • Able to climb 7 stories in 90 seconds
  • Able to stand on a 7th floor balcony with ease
  • Open and close seat belt in 15 seconds
  • Spend up to 90 minutes in a supine position without access to a toilet
  • Last up to 90 minutes with five other people in a cramped capsule with the hatch closed
  • Endure three times your own weight for two minutes
  • Endure five and a half times one’s own weight for a few seconds
  • Understand English voice instructions in ambient noise up to 100 dB
  • Recognize and respond to six different warning lights (glasses/contact lenses allowed)
  • Climb down from a table independently

Who is now wondering when and why a space traveler has to climb down from a table: It is about the time shortly after landing. The height of the hatch is approximately the same as the height of a table.

There are no age restrictions. The astronaut himself or herself is also responsible for the medical assessment of fitness for flight. Of course, a release of liability must be signed before launch.

I am curious, especially what a ticket will then cost in regular flight operations. The auction will certainly not end under one million.

The flight profile of the New Shepard capsule (Image: BlueOrigin).

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  • BrandonQMorris
  • Brandon Q. Morris is a physicist and space specialist. He has long been concerned with space issues, both professionally and privately and while he wanted to become an astronaut, he had to stay on Earth for a variety of reasons. He is particularly fascinated by the “what if” and through his books he aims to share compelling hard science fiction stories that could actually happen, and someday may happen. Morris is the author of several best-selling science fiction novels, including The Enceladus Series.

    Brandon is a proud member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and of the Mars Society.