• Blue Origin intends to send tourists past the so-called Karman line.
  • The billionaire race for space is big business.
  • The trip is the culmination of a 20-year journey for Bezos with his company, Blue Origin.

Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic crew hurtled historically to the edge of space last week. Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin team say they will breach it today.

The world’s richest man and his crew aboard the New Shepard spacecraft are set for a 9 a.m. ET liftoff Tuesday from outside the tiny West Texas town of Van Horn, bound for space and glory, back to Earth about 11 minutes later. 

“We’ve been practicing full missions in New Shepard’s training simulator,” Bezos said in an Instagram post Monday that included video of Bezos in the capsule. “Can’t wait for liftoff.”

It’s the 16th flight for New Shepard but the first to include people. Bezos and Blue Origin have been somewhat dismissive of Branson’s flight nine days ago, saying Virgin Galactic’s top altitude of 53.5 miles came up short of reaching true space.

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