Bezos and his Blue Origin teammates trained for 14 hours. These are the requirements they had to meet.


On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos and three other people became astronauts as they flew in space on Blue Origins’ first test flight with humans. As NASA astronauts train for months, Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, 82, and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen trained for just 14 hours. .

At a press conference on Sunday, Blue Origin’s launch director Steve Lanius said astronauts started training on Sunday, two days before the launch.

The 14-hour training, compliant with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, was spread over two days, Lanius said. It consisted of classroom instruction, demonstrations and practices in a training capsule.

At the end of the training, astronauts review five different scenarios and take a final exam, Lanius said.

Ariane Cornell, director of astronautics and orbital sales at Blue Origin, said the training teaches crew members how to enter, exit and maneuver the capsule once in space.

the New Shepard spaceship itself is fully automated, with no pilots or flight controls on board, so the crew does not have to learn to fly it.

Jeff Bezos and the Blue Origin crew
Blue Origin team (left to right): Oliver Daemen, Wally Funk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Bezos.

CBS News

Blue Origin says it checks all astronauts before flights and that they must meet several functional requirements.

They must be able to climb the launch tower – about seven flights of stairs – in less than 90 seconds. And they must be able to walk quickly over uneven surfaces, like a ramp or bridge with occasional steps, according to the company.

They also have to attach and detach their own safety harnesses in less than 15 seconds, “which is about as difficult as buckling the seat belt in an unfamiliar car in the dark,” says Blue Origin.

In addition to hearing and understanding the instructions in English and following the instructions reliably, astronauts must be able to “experience up to five and a half times their normal weight (5.5g) when pushing the astronaut in his seat for a few seconds while descending into the atmosphere, ”says Blue Origin.

They should also be able to sit in a seat for 40 to 90 minutes without getting up or going to the bathroom, spending that time with up to five other people.

Astronauts should be between 5’0 “, 110 lbs and 6’4”, 223 lbs.

All Blue Origin astronauts must also be 18 or the age of majority in their country of residence, whichever is older, according to the company.

Eighteen-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen became the the youngest to fly into space after the anonymous winner of an online auction, who offered $ 28 million to board the flight, failed to launch. This is the first Blue Origin flight with a paying customer, Cornell said at the press conference.

Blue Origin will provide training to all passengers participating in a flight. The company says training can take place at its facilities in Kent, Wash., Culberson County, Texas, or another location.

“Every mission we have taken so far has prepared us to embark humans,” Lanius said at the press conference. “During our last mission, we repeated for the first time to put customers on a fully fueled vehicle.”

Tuesday’s flight was the 16th successful test flight of a New Shepard spacecraft, the third for this booster and capsule, and Blue Origin’s first with passengers on board. The company plans to launch two more passenger flights before the end of the year.

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