Jeff Bezos jokes he’s ‘not having his last meal’ hours before rocket launch

Jeff Bezos insisted a spread of chicken wings with mac 'n' cheese was not his "last meal".

The Amazon and Blue Origin billionaire rockets into space on Tuesday but not before dishing out fast food to members of the press on Monday.

Bezos, 57, who is the world's richest person, joked: "Did somebody say last meal?

"I don't think you have to put it that way! Let's talk about it in a different way!"

A day before the historic launch and Bezos' first into space, journalists were invited to interview the New Shepard crew which threw up questions about the ship's safety, The Sun reports.

Veteran aviator Wally Funk, 82, and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen will join Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark 53 on the company's maiden voyage.

Bezos said: "I could have done this flight as CEO of Amazon and it would have been fine. We really believe this flight is safe. I did have friends say, 'why not wait for the second or third flight, why do you have to go now?'

"But we know the vehicle is safe and if it's not safe for me then it's not safe for anyone. But we've taken this one step at a time, our mascot is the tortoise… we are ready."

After setting off from Launch Site One in Van Horn, Texas, New Shepard will soar 66 miles above Earth – surpassing Richard Branson's 53 miles – and return for landing in a ten minute long trip.

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Bezos was confronted by CNN reporter on Monday who suggested that his flight is just a "joyride for the wealthy" and he "should be spending your time and your money and energy trying to solve problems here on Earth."

He replied: "Well, I say they're largely right. We have to do both.

"We have lots of problems here and now on Earth and we need to work on those, and we always need to look to the future. We've always done that as a species, as a civilisation."

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As well as Branson, Bezos is competing in a space race with Tesla mogul Elon Musk.

A ticket to Mars aboard Musk's SpaceX trip to Mars will set you back $500,000, while Bezos' Blue Origin will be charging $200,000 to $300,000 for a cruise trip around the outer edge of the Earth's atmosphere.

Musk has goaded Bezos for focusing on suborbital travel within the Earth's limits, whereas his SpaceX project has more audaciously aimed at travel to – and exploration of – Mars.

Both billionaires have expressed their desire to protect the Earth by moving humans off it, however they have different ideas on where else we are meant to pitch up and call home.

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