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EXPLAINER: How Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos will soar into space

Vicentiu Solomon
Vicentiu Solomon

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — When Blue Origin launches people into space for the first time, founder Jeff Bezos will be on board.

No test pilots or flight engineers for Tuesday's debut flight from West Texas, just the founder of Amazon, his brother, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer and a teenage tourist.

The capsule is entirely automated, unlike Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rocket plane that required two pilots to get him to space and back a week ago.

The billionaire rivals are gearing up to launch anyone willing to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a brief space hop. The 18-year-old will become the youngest in space and the 82-year-old the oldest.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.