By Eric M. Johnson and David Shepardson
SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Monday it approved a Blue Origin license to carry humans on the New Shepard launch system into space.
Former Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space on Blue Origin’s maiden crewed voyage on July 20.
Blue Origin is authorized to carry humans while its FAA license is valid through August and is approved to conduct these missions from its Launch Site One facility in Texas, the agency confirmed.
Blue Origin’s flight will come a little over a week after space-tourism rival Virgin Galactic successfully sent a crew including its founder, British billionaire Richard Branson, to the edge of space.
Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, as well as the space firm founded by rival billionaire Elon Musk, are working to usher in a new era of routine commercial civilian space travel in what has been popularized as the “billionaire space race.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Sandra Maler and Stephen Coates)