Wally Funk may have finally achieved her lifelong goal of visiting space, but she still plans to take the Virgin Galactic trip she paid $200,000 for over a decade ago

Wally Funk and Richard Branson
Wally Funk, left, and Richard Branson.

  • Wally Funk is an 82-year-old aviator and was a passenger on Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight.
  • In 2010, she put a $200,000 deposit on a future Virgin Galactic flight.
  • “At this point, yes, Wally is planning to fly with Virgin Galactic too,” Funk’s agent told Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Wally Funk has finally achieved her lifelong dream of heading to space – but it seems the trip with Blue Origin won’t be her last.

Funk is an 82-year-old aviator who was invited by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to be an “honored guest” on his spaceflight on Tuesday. But over a decade ago, Funk paid $200,000 for a future ride on Virgin Galactic’s suborbital plane, according to The Guardian – and it seems she has no intention of giving up her seat.

“At this point, yes, Wally is planning to fly with Virgin Galactic too,” Funk’s agent, Loretta Hall, told Insider in an email last week.

Virgin Galactic told Insider that the company didn’t comment on “the identities of Future Astronauts.” Blue Origin did not respond to a request for comment on Funk’s plans.

Read more: The space race between Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson isn’t about saving Earth – it’s a PR stunt by billionaires trying to pretend they care about the rest of us

‘No one has waited longer’

Earlier this month, Bezos announced Funk would join him, his younger brother Mark, and a third passenger on their 11-minute trip to space. (The other passenger was later revealed to be 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who replaced the winning bidder in an auction for the seat after that passenger had “scheduling conflicts.”)

“No one has waited longer,” Bezos wrote in an Instagram post. “It’s time. Welcome to the crew, Wally.”

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos)

In 1961, Funk joined an all-woman space mission dubbed “Mercury 13.” She embarked on an extensive series of tests and trainings, which she aced – she told Texas Monthly that the researchers told her she had performed better than any other astronaut in the program, man or woman.

But the program was ultimately scrapped, and Funk never made it to space. In 1962, two of the women from the program testified before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics that they were being denied the opportunity simply because they were women.

Funk later embarked on a long career in flight, becoming the first female safety inspector at the Federal Aviation Administration and working with the National Transportation Safety Board, according to Texas Monthly.

In a video posted on Bezos’ Instagram account, Funk said she had taught over 3,000 people to fly.

Blue Origin vs. Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson in space aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket plane.
Richard Branson floats aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket plane.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft lifted off shortly after 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

The flight took Bezos and company 62 miles above Earth to the edge of space. Inside the spacecraft, Bezos and his fellow passengers had roughly three minutes to float around and view Earth from afar or gaze into the depths of outer space.

While Blue Origin’s mission was a major milestone – it’s the first time the company has sent human passengers into space – it was slightly eclipsed by Virgin Galactic and its billionaire founder, Richard Branson.

Earlier this month, Branson and three crewmates flew 55 miles above Earth aboard Virgin’s space plane, floated in zero gravity for about five minutes, and returned safely to Earth.

Branson’s flight – which beat Bezos’ by nine days, a fact Branson called “an incredible, wonderful coincidence” – seemed to rankle Blue Origin, which said the flight wouldn’t go high enough to truly count.

Still, Virgin plans to start offering suborbital flights to space tourists next year, and has already sold 600 tickets to hopeful space tourists, including SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk – and, of course, Funk.

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Lauren Sanchez, Jeff Bezos’ family, and a former NFL player were among the crowd that welcomed the flight crew back to Earth – see who else was there

New Shepard First Human Flight
Jeff Bezos hugs his mom, Jackie, after his spaceflight.

  • A swarm of well-wishers showed up for hugs and champagne after Jeff Bezos’ spacecraft landed.
  • The group included his parents, Mike and Jackie, and his son, Preston.
  • Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, and former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez, were there too.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On Tuesday morning, Jeff Bezos and his fellow passengers floated down to the West Texas desert after a successful flight to the edge of space.

The voyage, which took mere minutes, was the first human spaceflight for Blue Origin, the space exploration company Bezos founded in 2000. After the capsule touched down shortly after 9 a.m., Blue Origin employees rushed to ensure all passengers were safe and ground the spacecraft, which carried a static charge from its trip skyward. Then, they released the door, allowing Bezos, his brother, Mark, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, and 82-year-old Wally Funk to disembark.

They were quickly swarmed by family members, friends, and Blue Origin employees – unsurprisingly, hugs and champagne showers ensued.

Here’s who we spotted among the crowd of well-wishers.

Jeff Bezos’ mother, Jackie, was the first to hug him after he exited the capsule.

Jackie Bezos hugs Jeff Bezos after Blue Origin spaceflight

Mike Bezos, the Bezos brothers’ father, squeezed in to hug Mark.

Mike Bezos hugs Mark Bezos after Blue Origin flight

Preston Bezos, Bezos’ eldest son, was in attendance, along with his younger siblings.

Preston Bezos greets Jeff Bezos after Blue Origin spaceflight

Lauren Sanchez, Bezos’ girlfriend, sported a matching cowboy hat and was there to hug Bezos upon landing.

Lauren Sanchez goes to hug Jeff Bezos after Blue Origin flight

Former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez got a peek inside the capsule. He was previously in a relationship with Sanchez, and the two have a 20-year-old son.

Tony Gonzalez outside capsule after Blue Origin flight

Joes Daemen, the chief executive of a private equity firm, embraced his son, Oliver. The elder Daemen paid for his son’s seat on New Shepard.

Oliver Daemen hugs Joes Daemen after Blue Origin spaceflight
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Jeff Bezos says ‘you have a very happy crew up here’ as he returns to Earth after a successful flight to the edge of space

Jeff Bezos high fives Blue Origin employee after New Shepard spaceflight
Jeff Bezos high fives a Blue Origin employee as he disembarks after a successful space flight.

  • Jeff Bezos successfully flew to the edge of space and back on Tuesday.
  • Bezos was joined by his brother Mark, 82-year-old Wally Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.
  • “You have a very happy crew up here,” Bezos said as the crew floated back toward Earth.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jeff Bezos and his fellow passengers have successfully ventured to the edge of space and back.

The Amazon and Blue Origin founder flew on the space exploration company’s first human spaceflight on Tuesday, blasting off shortly after 9 a.m. ET.

The crew, which included Bezos’ brother, Mark, 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk, and Dutch teen Oliver Daemen, flew just above the border between Earth and space and experienced weightlessness for about three minutes before safely touching back down in the West Texas desert.

Read more: As Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson blast off, here are 11 of the most exciting space startups according to VCs

As the capsule floated back toward Earth with an assist from three parachutes, Bezos informed Blue Origin mission control that everyone was safe and sound – and elated.

“You have a very happy crew up here,” Bezos said, adding a few minutes later: “Best day ever. That was incredible.”

When asked how he was doing, Mark Bezos responded: “I am unbelievably good.”

Upon landing, the crew disembarked and was greeted by a swarm of family and friends, including the Bezos brothers’ parents, Jackie and Mike; Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez; his son, Preston; and Blue Origin employees. After many excited hugs and high fives, the crew celebrated with – what else – champagne showers.

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The date of Jeff Bezos’ trip to space isn’t a coincidence – it’s the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon

Jeff Bezos and the Apollo 11 moon landing
  • Jeff Bezos will travel to the edge of space aboard a Blue Origin rocket on July 20.
  • The date has good mojo in space history: It’s the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
  • Bezos is obsessed with Apollo 11 – he retrieved pieces of its engine from the ocean in 2013.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jeff Bezos’ trip aboard a Blue Origin rocket on Tuesday will take place on a fortuitous day in space history.

The 11-minute trip 62 miles above Earth will take Bezos to the edge of space. Inside Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, Bezos, his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and Dutch teen Oliver Daemen will have three minutes to float around the spacecraft and view Earth from afar – or gaze into the depths of outer space.

While it could be a risky trip for the world’s richest person and ex-CEO of Amazon, the date of the trip – July 20 – has pretty good mojo: It’s the anniversary of the first humans landing on the moon 52 years ago.

On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin blasted off from the Florida coast with the mission of landing on the moon and collecting samples of its surface. Four days later, on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin set foot on the moon, planting the American flag and capturing iconic footage of their voyage.

Read more: Space vacations will soon be an option for people with 6 figures to burn. These are 4 companies leading the industry.

Now, decades later, Bezos will fulfill a childhood ambition to visit space on the same date. Bezos’ interest in space stems from his maternal grandfather, Lawrence Preston Gise. According to Brad Stone’s book, “Amazon Unbound,” Gise spent the 1950s and 1960s working on space technology and missile defense systems for the Atomic Energy Commission, a federal agency that was created in 1946 to manage the use of nuclear energy for both civilian and military applications. A young Bezos used to travel to Gise’s South Texas ranch each summer where he would watch Apollo launches and read science fiction books from the library, according to Stone’s book.

As an adult, Bezos took his love of space to the next level: First, with the founding of Blue Origin in 2000, a rocket company focused on getting humans to the moon. Then, in 2013, Bezos, his brother, his brother-in-law, and his parents spent three weeks at sea recovering pieces of the engine of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

“We’ve seen an underwater wonderland,” Bezos wrote of the experience, “an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jeff Bezos is going to space tomorrow. Here’s how to watch and what could happen if something goes wrong.

Jeff Bezos looks into distance in front of Blue Origin rocket
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

In just a matter of hours, Jeff Bezos and his crewmates will be blasting into space.

The Amazon billionaire, who founded Blue Origin over two decades ago, will embark on the rocket company’s first human spaceflight. Joined by his brother and two other passengers, Bezos will launch from a remote area of West Texas to just past the boundary separating Earth and space.

If all goes well, Bezos will be one step closer in his quest to commercialize space travel, a goal shared by rivals Richard Branson and Elon Musk.

As Bezos likely makes last-minute preparations for his groundbreaking flight, here’s everything you need to know about the voyage.

Why is this flight such a big deal?

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 – since then, the New Shepard rocket, which will be carrying Bezos and company to space, has flown successfully 15 times.

But Tuesday’s trip will be the first time Blue Origin has ever ferried human passengers to space, which means Bezos – and his crew – will be something of a guinea pig.

Bezos, the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, is the richest person in the world with a net worth of $206 billion.

Who else will be on the flight?

Jeff Bezos' spaceflight crew at Blue Origin headquarters: Oliver Daemen, Wally Funk, and Mark Bezos
From left: Oliver Daemen, Wally Funk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Bezos.

Bezos’ crew includes three other passengers: Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen.

Mark, who is Bezos’ younger brother, is a former marketing executive and volunteer firefighter. He’s been involved in the Bezos Family Foundation for over 20 years, and was also an early investor in Amazon, likely making him a millionaire several times over.

Funk is an 82-year-old aviator who, in 1961, joined an all-woman space mission dubbed “Mercury 13.” But the program was ultimately scrapped – seemingly for sexist reasons – and Funk never made it to space. Funk later embarked on a long career in flight and says she has taught over 3,000 people to fly.

Daemen is an 18-year-old from the Netherlands who will be Blue Origin’s first paying customer. After the anonymous bidder who paid $28 million for the seat in an auction last month had “scheduling conflicts,” Blue Origin offered the seat to Daemen, whose father paid for the spot, according to CNBC.

Daemen graduated from high school in 2020, took a gap year to obtain his pilot license, and will attend college for physics and innovation management this fall.

Daemen will be the youngest person ever to go to space, while Funk will be the oldest.

What will happen once the rocket lifts off?

Blue Origin New Shepard rocket lifting off
New Shepard blasts off.

Once New Shepard lifts off on Tuesday, it will hurtle upwards toward the Kármán line, which is about 62 miles above Earth and is considered the boundary of space.

The force of the trek skyward, combined with Earth’s gravitational pull, will pin the passengers to their seats – then, after about three minutes, the rocket will separate from the passenger-carrying capsule, the capsule will clear the Kármán line, and the passengers will feel weightless.

The crew will have about three minutes to float around the cabin and peer out the windows at Earth, or into the depths of space. Then, Bezos and company will buckle themselves back in for the plunge to the ground. Parachutes will open – likely causing the crew to feel an abrupt jerk – in order to help slow their descent into the Texas desert.

Is the trip risky?

As Insider reported, New Shepard has a good test-flight record, and at 11 minutes long, the trip will be a short one, lessening the risk: The rocket will be traveling slower because it’s not attempting to reach orbit, and it will be easier to control because its engines are smaller.

Bezos and his crew are flying without a pilot, since Blue Origin uses a fully automated launch system. It’s not necessarily riskier, so long as the passengers have undergone the proper training for how to handle emergencies.

The crew also might be skipping pressurized spacesuits and helmets, which could save their lives in the event of a cabin leak. But the suits also have downsides: Many first-time fliers throw up during a rocket’s launch or landing, and if they weren’t adequately trained to operate their suit, they could choke on their own vomit.

Either way, spaceflight is always a risky proposition: Roughly 1% of human spaceflights in the US have resulted in a fatal accident, according to an analysis by the Center for Space Policy and Strategy.

That’s “about 10,000 times more dangerous than flying on a commercial airliner,” George Nield, the co-author of the report and former Federal Aviation Administration associate administrator, recently told Insider.

What happens if the rocket fails?

Blue Origin capsule parachuting back to Earth
The New Shepard capsule parachuting back to Earth.

The New Shepard rocket comes with an emergency escape system that will detach the capsule carrying the crew and parachute it safely back to Earth, Insider reports.

Blue Origin has tested the system three times in the past, including on a flight to space.

How do you watch the launch?

The broadcast of the event will begin at 6:30 a.m. CT/7:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Blue Origin says that it’s targeting 9 a.m. ET for liftoff.

You can watch a stream of the event live on Insider’s website.

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Meet Oliver Daemen, the Dutch teenager who will fly to space with Jeff Bezos after his hedge fund dad paid millions for the ticket

Oliver Daeman smiling in front of water and mountain
Oliver Daemen.

  • Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, is joining Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight.
  • Daemen is Blue Origin’s first paying customer and replaces the anonymous auction winner.
  • Daemen has a pilots license, is fascinated by space, and will go to college for physics this fall.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When Oliver Daemen blasts off on July 20, he’ll be making history as the youngest person to travel to space.

The Dutch teen will join Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, Bezos’ brother Mark, and aviator Wally Funk aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, which will be carrying human passengers for the first time ever.

Daemen, who is currently 18, is Blue Origin’s first paying customer – he bid for the seat at an auction last month, ultimately losing out to an anonymous bidder who paid $28 million for the opportunity. But Daemen is flying in that passenger’s place after “scheduling conflicts” arose, Blue Origin said in a blog post on Thursday.

In a video posted to Twitter, Daemen said he’s “super excited” to go into space.

“I’ve been dreaming about this all my life,” he said. “I am super excited to experience zero-g and see the world from above.”

According to Dutch news service RTL Nieuws, Daemen has already left for Texas, where New Shepard will launch, in order to complete astronaut training ahead of liftoff on Tuesday.

So who is Oliver Daemen and how did he become a passenger on the highly anticipated spaceflight? Here’s what we know so far.

Daemen is the son of Joes Daemen, the CEO of a private equity firm

Joes Daemen founded Somerset Capital Partners, a real estate private equity firm, in 2005. The firm is based in Oisterwijk, Netherlands.

According to CNBC, Daemen participated in the auction and had already secured a seat on Blue Origin’s second flight, but the company “moved him up” when the auction winner deferred. Daemen’s father paid for the seat, though the company hasn’t disclosed how much he paid, CNBC reports.

He’ll be a college freshman in the fall

Daemen graduated high school in 2020 and took a gap year – beginning this September, he’ll attend the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands where he’ll study physics and innovation management, according to Blue Origin.

He’s a fan of underwater adventures and water sports

If Daemen’s Instagram account is any indication, he’s spent much of his free time on the water. Over the years, he’s posted pictures of himself snorkeling, surfing, and wakeboarding.

He’s rubbed elbows with Dutch celebrities

Daemen posted a photo to his Instagram account in 2018 of him, his sister, DJ Martin Garrix, and Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen.

He’s fascinated with flight and outer space

Daemen spent his gap year working on getting his pilots license, and this trip to space is the culmination of a lifelong interest, according to Blue Origin.

“Flying on New Shepard will fulfill a lifelong dream for Oliver, who has been fascinated by space, the Moon, and rockets since he was four,” the company said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 82-year-old passenger on Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight still plans to take the Virgin Galactic trip she paid $200,000 for over a decade ago

Aviator Wally Funk gives a thumbs up surrounded by other hopeful space tourists
Wally Funk celebrates as the Virgin Galactic VSS Enterprise spacecraft makes its first public landing during the Spaceport America runway dedication ceremony near Las Cruces, New Mexico in October 2010.

  • Wally Funk is an 82-year-old aviator and the fourth passenger on Jeff Bezos’ upcoming spaceflight.
  • In 2010, she put a $200,000 deposit on a future Virgin Galactic flight.
  • “At this point, yes, Wally is planning to fly with Virgin Galactic too,” Funk’s agent told Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When Wally Funk blasts off aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket next week, it’ll be her first time heading to space – but it seems it won’t be her last.

Funk is an 82-year-old aviator who was invited by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to be the fourth passenger on his spaceflight on July 20. But over a decade ago, Funk paid $200,000 for a future ride on Virgin Galactic’s suborbital plane, according to The Guardian – and it seems she has no intention of giving up her seat.

“At this point, yes, Wally is planning to fly with Virgin Galactic too,” Funk’s agent, Loretta Hall, told Insider in an email.

Virgin Galactic told Insider that the company doesn’t comment on “the identities of Future Astronauts.” Blue Origin did not respond to a request for comment on Funk’s plans.

Read more: The space race between Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson isn’t about saving Earth – it’s a PR stunt by billionaires trying to pretend they care about the rest of us

‘No one has waited longer’

Earlier this month, Bezos announced that Funk would join him, his younger brother Mark, and a third passenger on their 11-minute trip to space. (The other passenger, whose name hasn’t been revealed, placed the winning $28 million bid in an auction for the seat last month.)

“No one has waited longer,” Bezos wrote in an Instagram post. “It’s time. Welcome to the crew, Wally.”

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos)

Back in 1961, Funk joined an all-woman space mission dubbed “Mercury 13.” She embarked on an extensive series of tests and trainings, which she aced – she told Texas Monthly that the researchers told her she had performed better than any other astronaut in the program, man or woman.

But the program was ultimately scrapped and Funk never made it to space. In 1962, two of the women from the program testified before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics that they were being denied the opportunity simply because they were women.

Funk later embarked on a long career in flight, becoming the first female safety inspector at the Federal Aviation Administration and working with the National Transportation and Safety Board, according to Texas Monthly.

In the video posted to Bezos’ Instagram account, Funk said she has now taught over 3,000 people to fly.

Blue Origin vs. Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson in space aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket plane.
Richard Branson floats in space aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket plane.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft – which was cleared for takeoff by the FAA on Monday – is scheduled for liftoff at 9 a.m. ET on July 20.

The flight will take Bezos 62 miles above Earth, to the edge of space. Inside the spacecraft, Bezos and his fellow passengers will have three minutes to float around and view Earth from afar or gaze into the depths of outer space.

While Blue Origin’s mission will be a major milestone – it’s the first time the company has sent human passengers into space – it has since been slightly eclipsed by Virgin Galactic and its billionaire founder, Richard Branson.

On Sunday, Branson and three crewmates flew 55 miles above Earth aboard Virgin’s space plane, floated in zero gravity for about five minutes, then returned safely to Earth.

Branson’s flight – which beat Bezos’ by nine days, a fact Branson called “an incredible, wonderful coincidence” – seemed to rankle Blue Origin, which claimed the flight wouldn’t go high enough to truly count.

Still, Virgin plans to start offering suborbital flights to space tourists next year, and has already sold 600 tickets to hopeful space tourists, including SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk – and, of course, Funk.

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Jeff Bezos is stepping aside as Amazon CEO, but it’s unlikely he’s slowing down. The billionaire tech tycoon has a passion for extreme adventures, from dog-sledding to ocean exploration.

Jeff Bezos Blue Origin
  • Jeff Bezos may bet stepping down as Amazon CEO, but it’s highly unlikely he’s slowing down.
  • The billionaire has long had a love of adventures, like long horseback trips and ocean exploration.
  • His next voyage will be to the edge of space aboard a Blue Origin rocket.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jeff Bezos may be stepping aside as CEO of Amazon, but if history is any indication, he won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

The 57-year-old Bezos has a penchant for unusual adventures, hobbies that take him on days-long horseback rides or to the bottom of the ocean. In fact, his next voyage will take him to the outer reaches of Earth’s gravitational pull. On July 20, Bezos, his brother, and two other passengers will take an 11-minute trip to space aboard a Blue Origin rocket.

Read more: The leadership challenge that awaits Amazon’s next CEO

But the space voyage is the latest – and arguably most extreme – way Bezos has spent his time and money over the years.

Bezos once went on a 50-mile horseback ride through West Texas

Accompanied by his father, Mike, and his brother Mark, Bezos rode for 50 miles on horseback.

“Three days, super fun, my butt hurt,” Bezos said during an interview with Mark at a Summit leadership event in 2017.

Mark Bezos shared a photo of his brother sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground during the trip, his pillow covered in a ring of frost.

“This is when you know it’s good to be a mammal,” Bezos said.

He traveled to the bottom of the ocean to retrieve pieces of Apollo 11

In 2013, Bezos, his brother, his brother-in-law, and his parents spent 30 days at sea recovering pieces of the engine of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, which took the first humans to the moon.

“We’ve seen an underwater wonderland – an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program,” Bezos wrote of the experience.

Bezos has always been passionate about Apollo 11, and even timed his space journey to the iconic mission: July 20 is the same day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped foot on the moon in 1969.

He once climbed to the top of one of Amazon’s wind turbines

In 2017, Bezos shared a video on Instagram to celebrate the opening of one of Amazon’s wind farms. Equipped only with a harness and a hard hat, Bezos stood on top of a turbine and smashed a bottle of bubbly.

“Fun day christening Amazon’s latest wind farm,” he wrote.

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos)

He’s gone cave-exploring

During Bezos’ 2017 interview with his brother, Mark Bezos shared photos of Bezos rappelling hundreds of feet down into a cave.

Accompanied by their brother-in-law, Steve, Bezos’ now ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, and a friend, the two brothers snapped a group photo at the bottom where they’re surrounded by stalagmites.

“That was a great trip,” Bezos said. “You don’t have to worry about checking your phone there. No radio signals down there.”

He went dog-sledding in the Arctic

To celebrate Earth Day in 2018, Bezos shared a video of himself being pulled behind six dogs through a snowy forest in the Arctic.

“Dog sledding above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway,” Bezos wrote. “Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell says it’s not that you go to heaven when you die, but ‘you go to heaven when you’re born.’ Earth is the best planet in our solar system – by far. We go to space to save the Earth.”

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos)

He’s about to take his first trip to space

On July 20, Jeff Bezos will be among the first human passengers to fly aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft.

He’ll be joined by his brother, an unnamed passenger who placed the winning bid of $28 million in an auction for the seat last month, and Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aviator who trained to go to space in the 1960s but was ultimately denied the opportunity because she was a woman.

“I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I wanted to do all my life,” Bezos said in a video posted to Instagram. “It’s an adventure – it’s a big deal for me.”

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