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Watch live: Jeff Bezos launch into space

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The New York Times
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Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and three crewmates are blasting off into space Tuesday for a short 10-minute sub-orbital flight that the company hopes will be a giant leap forward for the business of commercial space travel.It is the first launch of Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft to carry to carry passengers after 15 successful uncrewed test flights. After liftoff from the company's West Texas launch site, it will rocket to an altitude of more than 62 miles above the Earth, where the passengers will experience about three minutes of weightlessness and stunning views out of the largest windows ever built into a space capsule before plunging back into the lower atmosphere and parachuting down to landing."I'm excited," Bezos said Monday in an interview with Gayle King on "CBS This Morning." "People keep asking if I'm nervous. The greatest adventure, with my best friend."He later introduced two more crewmates: Wally Funk, a legendary pilot who was one of the 13 female fliers tested but ultimately barred from NASA's initially all-male astronaut corps in the 1960s, and teenage space enthusiast Oliver Daemen, whose family paid an undisclosed sum for his seat.All four talked about their excitement in an interview on "CBS This Morning" the day before launch.The flight was originally supposed to include the winner of an online auction who bid $28 million for the privilege, but that anonymous bidder had a schedule conflict and opted to join a later flight instead.The crew was slated to undergo 14 hours of training over two days to familiarize them with the spacecraft, but they won't actually be flying it themselves — the New Shepard is fully automated, with no pilots or flight controls onboard.After Bezos announced his launch plans, Richard Branson, owner of the rival space company Virgin Galactic, upstaged him by lifting off on his own sub-orbital flight on July 11.

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