Jeff Bezos was pictured dining with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez and his family at Nobu in Malibu on Wednesday ahead of his Blue Origin spaceflight next week.
The Blue Origin founder was spotted wearing aviator sunglasses and a polo shirt tucked into jeans while arriving at the restaurant. Sanchez, who will not be joining Bezos on the spaceflight, was seen wearing a slim white dress with jewelry.
Bezos, 57, received approval Monday from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space on July 20.
The company was required to verify the rocket’s hardware and software worked safely during a test flight and the FAA confirmed it met regulatory requirements.
Jeff Bezos was pictured dining with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez and his family at Nobu in Malibu on Wednesday
Bezos was pictured arriving at Nobu, left, with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, right, just six days ahead of his Blue Origin launch
The Blue Origin founder was spotted wearing aviator sunglasses and a polo shirt tucked into jeans while arriving at the restaurant
Lauren Sanchez is seen putting her hands on Bezos as the couple walks into the restaurant
Bezos is pictured walking past the restaurant’s valet stand after arriving
Bezos, 57, received approval Monday from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space on July 20
Bezos and his girlfriend were pictured arriving at the restaurant
Bezos is pictured dining at Nobu with Lauren Sanchez ahead of the Blue Origin launch
Bezos was pictured smiling while in conversation at dinner on Wednesday
The spaceflight will include Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk and three other passengers who are now set to liftoff from West Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space.
Funk, 82, is an ‘honored guest’ as one of the last surviving members of the Mercury 13 mission. The Mercury 13, or First Lady Astronaut Trainees, were a group of 13 female pilots who qualified to go to space but were excluded due to their gender.
She will become the oldest person to launch into space and surpass former Senator John Glenn who took a space shuttle flight in 1998 at the age of 77.
While in training, Funk scored higher than Glenn – who was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts chosen to fly on Project Mercury in the 1960s – on some astronaut testing.
One of the six passengers will be a teen from the Netherlands who will become the youngest astronaut ever and first paying space tourist on a U.S. commercial space flight after his father placed the second place bid for the seat.
Oliver Daemen, 18, is the son of financier Joes Daemen, the founder and CEO of Dutch private equity firm Somerset Capital Partners who placed the second place bid.
The younger Daemen, a physics student, will join the flight after the anonymous $28 million winning bidder deferred to a later flight due to undisclosed scheduling conflicts, Blue Origin said.
Jeff Bezos girlfriend Lauren Sanchez and her kids are seen leaving Nobu after dinner in Malibu
Sanchez will not be joining Bezos for the maiden voyage of the Blue Origin flight
The spaceflight will include Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk and three other passengers
It was not immediately clear how long Bezos would be in space without Sanchez
A Blue Origin spokesperson told DailyMail.com they are not disclosing the price paid for Daemen’s seat, but confirmed he participated in the auction.
‘He was a participant in the auction and had secured a seat on the second flight,’ the spokesperson said via email. ‘We moved him up when this seat on the first flight became available.’
The company said Daemen ‘has been fascinated by space, the Moon and rockets since he was four.’
‘I am super excited to go to space,’ Daemen said in a video message. ‘I’ve been dreaming about this all my life and I will become the youngest astronaut ever because I’m 18 years old. I am super excited to experience zero G.
Daemen is now on his way to Texas, where the launch will take place on Tuesday.
‘At 18-years-old and 82-years-young, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk represent the youngest and oldest astronauts to travel to space,’ Blue Origin said in a statement.
Blue Origin said on Thursday that 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen will take the place of the anonymous bidder to fly to space
Joes Daemen, the Dutch financier, paid for the ticket and is letting his son fly in his place
GeekWire reported that Oliver graduate from high school last year and took a gap year before continuing working towards his private pilot’s license in Spain.
He is due to begin a degree in physics and innovation management at the University of Utrecht in September.
Pictures on Oliver’s Instagram account show him surfing, diving and wakeboarding, as well as posing with Dutch DJ Martin Garrix and Belgian-Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen.
Oliver’s mother, Eline Daemen Dekker, is an ambassador at Somerset Capital Partners Foundation and volunteers with a program to combat loneliness among the elderly. She previously worked as a cabin crew member for KLM for five years.
Blue Origin’s rocket will launch just over a week after Richard Branson reached the edge of space aboard Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed flight on Sunday.
Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The launch site for Blue Origin’s first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, where the firm has launched New Shepard for previous flights.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, at New Shepard’s West Texas launch facility
Blue Origin’s New Shepard is pictured in a photo
New Shepard, which stands 60 feet tall, was specifically designed for Blue Origin’s space tourism venture and has successfully completed 15 test launches, with the latest on April 14.
The capsule that rides atop New Shepard seats six passengers and is equipped with reclining seats.
Each of the seats has a window that are said to the ‘the largest to fly into space.’
Cameras line the interior, allowing travelers to share their memories that are truly out of this world.
The crew is set to travel 62 miles above Earth’s surface, where they will experience weightlessness due to the zero gravity and see the curve of the planet with the darkness of space as the backdrop.
Funk is an ‘honored guest’ for the mission, one of the last surviving members of the Mercury 13 mission. At the age of 82, Funk will become the oldest person to launch into space and surpass former Senator John Glenn who took a space shuttle flight in 1998 at the age of 77
Blue Origin’s maiden voyage will, however, travel farther than Branson’s who reached an altitude of 53.5 miles over the New Mexico desert before gliding safely back to Earth.
It is not clear how long they will spend just beyond the edge of space, but Blue Origin has stated in the past that paying customers will spend as much as 10 minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth.
If successful, this mission will put Bezos in the billionaire space race ahead of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and just behind Branson.
However, Musk has secured a seat on Branson’s Virgin Galactic for a price rumored to be $250,000.
THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE: HOW BRANSON, MUSK AND BEZOS ARE VYING FOR GALACTIC SUPREMACY
Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule
Dubbed the ‘NewSpace’ set, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk all say they were inspired by the first moon landing in 1969, when the US beat the Soviet Union in the space race, and there is no doubt how much it would mean to each of them to win the ‘new space race’.
Amazon founder Bezos had looked set to be the first of the three to fly to space, having announced plans to launch aboard his space company Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft on July 20.
The billionaire mogul will travel with his younger brother Mark, a charity auction winner who’s shelling out $28 million and pioneering female astronaut Wally Funk, 82.
However, Branson has now announced he’s planning to make a suborbital flight nine days before Bezos and his brother. He revealed on Twitter that he plans to be Astronaut 001 on Virgin Galactic’s July 11 test flight.
Although SpaceX and Tesla founder Musk has said he wants to go into space, and even ‘die on Mars’, he has not said when he might blast into orbit.
SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the broader billionaire space race with numerous launches carrying NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.
On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s own red Tesla roadster attached.
Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule
NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission.
SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network.
Musk hopes this will provide an interconnected web of satellites around Earth which will beam down free internet to people worldwide.
Branson and Virgin Galactic are taking a different approach to conquering space. It has repeatedly, and successfully, conducted test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity space plane.
The first took place in December 2018 and the latest on May 22, with the flight accelerating to more than 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7).
More than 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips.
Branson has previously said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX.
Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft
SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.
The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.
It climbs to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier craft, White Knight II, once it has passed the 50-mile mark.
Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere.
The spaceship will then make a suborbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 1.5 hours.
Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.
The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.
Bezos is one of the richest men in the world and Blue Origin has successfully flown the New Shepard rocket 15 times.
At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometres), just above the official threshold for space and landed vertically seven minutes after liftoff.