Blue Origin Space Tourists Won't Get Bathroom Breaks
Hoping to catch a ride to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket? You better have a strong bladder because there will be no bathroom breaks.
At the 33rd annual Space Symposium on Wednesday, Blue Origin Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos offered up some fresh details about the New Shepard space exploration experience his company plans to begin offering brave travelers starting in 2018.
According to a report from Space.com, Bezos, who is also the founder and CEO of Amazon, said the trip from Earth to the Kármán line -- the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space, located 62 miles (100 kilometers) above solid ground -- and back will take just 11 minutes.
Crewmembers and passengers will board the New Shepard about 30 minutes in advance, and there will be no bathrooms on board.
"Go to the bathroom in advance," Bezos said, according to the report. "The whole thing, from boarding until you're back on the ground, is probably 40 or 41 minutes. So you're going to be fine. You could dehydrate ever so slightly if you have a weak bladder."
Meanwhile, during the trip, passengers will relax and take in the views while sitting in cushy, reclined leather seats. Once the New Shepard reaches the Kármán line, passengers will be able to get out of their seats and enjoy about "four minutes of weightlessness" before heading back to Earth. The capsule itself has soft walls and handrails, so you don't get hurt while floating around.
If all of this talk of floating in space has your stomach in knots, not to worry: Bezos said that shouldn't be an issue. The experience is so quick you probably won't even have time to get queasy.
"[People] don't throw up right away," Bezos said, according to the report. "We're not going to worry about it. … It's a delayed effect, and this journey takes 10 or 11 minutes. So you're going to be fine."
Blue Origin has been busy testing its rockets to prepare to start flying customers next year. The company around this time last year successfully launched and landed its New Shepard rocket for a third time, an impressive feat that further proves reusable rockets are now a reality.