Amazon founder Jef Bezos’ recent trip to space was a short one, the entire flight lasted around 11 minutes. He, along with his brother Mark Bezos and the $28 million seat clincher Oliver Daemen were the members of the crew who had no experience of a spaceflight and were going for the first time. Apart from the veteran Wally Funk, the other three had no training for a spaceflight. But that did change before the New Shepard space rocket took off on July 20 as all of them underwent 14 hours of training over two days just before the takeoff date to be compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. This has been revealed by Blue Origin lead flight director Steve Lanius in a press conference.
The training included lessons on how to use the space capsule (carried by the New Shepard rocket) for nominal, off-nominal and emergency procedures. They were also trained to be able to take actions in the case they encountered some common issues like fire and exiting the spacecraft quickly on the pad. How to use masks in an emergency was also a part of training. The training, as per Lanius, culminated in mission rehearsals that came with five different scenarios, followed by a final exam. After that, those who passed the tests (everyone, actually) got the final approval for the spaceflight on July 19, a day before the liftoff.
Space tourism may be seen as a domain of the super affluent, but the trips by Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have certainly brought it to mainstream attention. A luxury spaceflight company called Space Perspective is even offering seats on its space capsule that will be borne up by a giant balloon slowly. The entire journey will last about six hours. Apart from the money (each seat costs US $125,000), the other issue is that the bookings are available for the space capsule only in 2025, as they have already been made till 2024.