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Jeff Bezos heads off to space (WATCH LIVE)

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Jeff Bezos is launching into space on Tuesday as part of Blue Origin’s first crewed flight to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The 11-minute flight will take the world’s richest man more than a dozen miles above our planet’s surface and will mark the first manned mission for Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket and space capsule. Bezos will be joined by his brother Mark, 82-year-old pilot and female aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen, whose wealthy father paid for his $28-million ticket. Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 in the hopes of developing rocket technology for commercial purposes.

The New Shepard is designed to take off vertically from a launch pad, providing short but high-speed excursions into space. The spacecraft is capable of reaching speeds of up to 2,300mph – about three times the speed of sound. Bezos and the other passengers will experience brief moments of weightlessness as they skim outer space.

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