Who will miss Jeff Bezos if he doesn’t return from space? Meet his family

·7-min read

Who will miss Jeff Bezos if he doesn’t return from space?

His family, presumably. But who exactly are Jeff Bezos’ family?

Jeff Bezos and his family / Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Jeff Bezos and his family / Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Much has been made about Jeff Bezos’ flight into space. The world’s second richest person has decided that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to step into a rocket, blast off into space, hang around there for a bit and return home, no big deal. Bezos will take flight on a rocket that has been created by his own company, Blue Origin, and the flight is scheduled for July 20.

Where exactly is Jeff Bezos going when they say he’s going into space?

When you think of space travel, you’re probably imagining a Star Trek-like spaceship and voyages that last several months if not years. Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth. For one, the longest anyone has stayed in space is 437 days. This record belongs to Valery Polyakov who was on board the ISS for that duration. The record for the second longest stay is held by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly whose tweets from the ISS have been legendary. Kelly was in space for 340 days for 2016, a fortnight shy of a year. Kelly’s twin brother, Mark, also an astronaut, remained on ground and was part of a study of how being in space affects the human body. Mark Kelly was elected senator from Arizona in 2020.

Bezos and Rob Meyerson (fifth from left) giving NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver (fourth from left) a tour of Blue Origin's crew capsule in 2011 / Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bezos and Rob Meyerson (fifth from left) giving NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver (fourth from left) a tour of Blue Origin's crew capsule in 2011 / Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Long story short, Bezos isn’t going to be in space anywhere close to the amount of time Polyakov was or indeed Kelly. Jeff Bezos is going to be in space for 11 minutes. Blue Origin’s rocket, named New Shepard, will take the capsule that carries Bezos and other passengers some 100 km from earth, just to the point from where Bezos and co will be able to see the earth’s curvature.

At that point, the rocket will separate from the capsule and return to earth, leaving the capsule floating about in space for a few minutes. The capsule, which itself has thrusters, will then fly back to earth and land using parachutes.

All of this will take 11 minutes or thereabouts.

That’s great but is all of this… safe?

Let’s face it, no one has forgotten how the space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering earth’s atmosphere back in 2003 killing everyone, including Indian-origin astronaut Kalpana Chawla, aboard. However scientists will point out that Columbia was an orbital aircraft. Such aircraft typically hit speeds of up to 28,000 kph as they re-enter earth’s orbits. This causes friction with atmospheric particles and that can generate massive heat. New Shepard, however, is a suborbital spacecraft that touches top speed of just 3600 kph. The lower the speed, the lesser the heating and G-force. So even if you aren’t a trained astronaut, you can get on to one of these flights and there’s a good enough chance that you’d be back home for lunch.

Why are people petitioning for Bezos to stay in space?

Jeff Bezos is the second richest person on the planet. This makes him the face of wealth inequity and everything that’s wrong with capitalism. Bezos has also been criticised for being stingy. So much so that reports suggest he’s given away less than one per cent of his wealth to charity. To put into context, Donald Trump, though far less rich, has given away three per cent. He’s also not won any brownie points for the stagnant wages of Amazon workers and efforts to discourage them from unionising.

A petition on Change.org has asked that Bezos stay in space and not return to earth. As far as petitions go, it’s a great satirical act because let’s face it, Bezos isn’t staying in space and the only thing that could possibly prevent him from returning home is his capsule crashing and burning.

But, should he indeed manage to stay in space, who would miss him? We’d like to imagine that his family would, you know, as families are wont to do.

But who is part of Bezos’ family?

Jeff Bezos’ family that isn’t going into space includes his mother Jacklyn, his stepfather, Miguel or Mike, and his four children. Bezos divorced from his wife, MacKenzie in 2019. She has since remarried. Her second husband is one Dan Jewett, a science teacher in a private school. Bezos is also said to be involved with one Lauren Sanchez, a news anchor and entrepreneur.

Who are Jeff Bezos’ four children?

For someone who has been in the limelight for being so darned Rich, Jeff Bezos has managed to do a great job at keeping the identities of three of his four children a secret. We know that he has three sons and an adopted daughter. All of them seem to be quite young. Bezos has only one son whose name is publicly known:

Preston Bezos is the oldest son of MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos. Like his father, Presto is also a Princeton alumni. By all accounts, he loves travelling (who doesn’t), Mexican food (again, who doesn’t) and counts Miami as his favourite holiday destination.

Who are Jeff Bezos’ parents?

Jacklyn Bezos is Jeff Bezos’ mother. She had Jeff when she was just 17 and studying in high school. This was the ‘60s and the school wasn’t exactly welcoming of a teenage mother in their midst. Jacklyn is said to have pushed back till the administrators allowed her to attend classes. However they imposed dehumanising conditions on her. “Condition one, I had to arrive and depart school within five minutes of the starting and finishing bells. Condition two, I could not talk to other students. Condition three, I couldn’t eat lunch in the cafeteria. Condition four, I was told I would not be allowed to walk across the stage with my classmates to get my diploma,” she is quoted as having said. Jacklyn, who wanted to complete her school education, quietly followed all the rules and graduated from school.

To support herself and her new-born – her husband and Jeff’s biological father Ted Jorgensen divorced her and abandoned the two barely 17 months after Jeff’s birth – Jacklyn worked as a secretary and enrolled in a night school, which she would be allowed to attend with her infant in tow. It was here that she met her second husband and the one who Jeff Bezos calls his father.

Miguel Bezos, or Mike as he is popularly known, arrived in the US as an immigrant from Cuba. He was 16 when he landed in the US and spoke very little English. He met Jacklyn after she had been divorced and had been struggling to make ends meet. In a few years the two married and had children of their own. But he raised Jeff as his own and loved him like own son. So much so that Jeff Bezos calls him his real father.

Who is Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend?

Lauren Sanchez / Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Lauren Sanchez / Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Lauren Sanchez is an Emmy award-winning television anchor who is said to be Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend. Sanchez, who has been spotted with Bezos for a couple of years now, has been married twice before. She shares two children with Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell and has another son from a previous relationship. Sanchez also runs Black Ops Aviation, which is an aerial film and TV production company. Aside from all of this, she’s also known for making guest appearances in films, mostly as a TV reporter or an anchor. Lauren Sanchez’s filmography includes Fight Club, Fantastic Four, and We Bought a Zoo among others.

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