A video released last week by the private spaceflight company Blue Origin offers a tantalizing look at the private space trips the company plans to offer.
The two-minute Blue Origin video features Jeff Ashby, the company's chief of mission assurance and a former NASA astronaut, describing what the private trips will be like, as well as the life-changing experience of going to space. The video also features a computer animation showing passengers floating weightless inside the rather roomy Blue Origin space capsule, and staring out its wide windows when they reach suborbital altitudes above the Earth.
"Why does this experience change who you are at the deepest level?" Ashby said in the video. "It's one of those rare life-defining moments that you have to experience for yourself." [Blue Origin's Spaceship Tests in Photos]
Blue Origin was founded by billionaire and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. In April, the company performed a test flight of its suborbital New Shepard spaceship, which includes a six-passenger crew capsule. The somewhat secretive company did not announce the specific date of the launch until the test was already complete.
The new video also features Nicholas Patrick, a human integration architect for Blue Origin and a former NASA mission specialist. Patrick also speaks to the tremendously awe-inspiring experience of traveling to such high altitudes above Earth.
"When you first look out through these massive windows, you just lose yourself in a panorama of blue and black," Patrick said. "You can see clearly for millions of light-years in every direction. It gives you a sense of the scale of the universe."
On the experience of weightlessness, Patrick said, "It opens up possibilities for movement that you've just never had here on Earth. It's a shared experience with your crew, but it's also profoundly personal. So you really feel a part of the unfathomable depths of the cosmos."
Blue Origin has not said when commercial flights aboard the New Shepard spacecraft will be available or how much they will cost, but interested parties can fill out an information form on the company website to receive "early access to pricing information and tickets when we open reservations."
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Calla Cofield joined Space.com's crew in October 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. Prior to joining Space.com Calla worked as a freelance writer, with her work appearing in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. In 2018, Calla left Space.com to join NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory media team where she oversees astronomy, physics, exoplanets and the Cold Atom Lab mission. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world and would really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter