Going to outer space may seem like an exclusive task for astronauts or galactic rovers. However, the richest man in the world, a.k.a. Jeff Bezos, blasted off to space and back in a 10-minute rocket ship ride.
Over 60 miles above the Earth, Bezos was accompanied by his crew composed of his brother, Mark Bezos, pilot Wally Funk, and a recent high school graduate Oliver Daemen. They flew in a rocket ship called New Shepard, created by his own space company, Blue Origin.
Funk was the oldest person to go to space at 82 years old. She was an aviation pioneer who was denied the chance to fly to space because of her gender. Meanwhile, Daemen was the youngest one at 18, and also happens to be Blue Origin’s first paying customer. He took the place of another bidder who canceled due to scheduling conflicts.
Spaceflight company Virgin Galactic congratulated Blue Origin’s successful flight. It also stated, ‘We are encouraged by seeing more people exploring and conducting research in space, and creating a positive impact here on Earth.’
It continues to be a great time for commercial space travel! We are encouraged by seeing more people exploring and conducting research in space, and creating a positive impact here on Earth. Congrats to @blueorigin on today’s successful flight, together we’ll open space for good! pic.twitter.com/NFJmFotjnt
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) July 20, 2021
‘Every astronaut, everybody who’s been up into space, they say that it changes them,’ Bezos said after the launch. ‘And they’re kind of amazed and awestruck by the Earth and its beauty, but also by its fragility. And I can vouch for that.’
Blue Origin has plans to launch three additional New Shepard flights before 2021 ends, two with passengers and one with science payloads.
You can watch the replay of Blue Origin’s first human flight below or on their YouTube page.
Banner: Blue Origin and Twitter/virgingalactic