Billionaire and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos was launched on Tuesday in his own New Shepard rocket to cross the boundary between the atmosphere and space.
With him was a “crew” of three, an 18-year-old boy from the Netherlands, an 82-year-old woman who is a NASA pioneer from Texas, and last but not least, his own brother.
With that, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen became the youngest ever in space and 82-year-old Wally Funk the oldest ever.
Get off a little over three o’clock
New Shepard set course for space on the anniversary of the lunar landing of Apollo 11 52 years ago. The launch was announced to take place at. 15 Norwegian time on Tuesday.
On the space company’s own television broadcast of the launch, a clock that was counting down to the rocket being launched showed that it was somewhat delayed.
Ten past three, the gangway was pulled in and the rocket was ready to embark on its journey into space.
At 15.13, the flames flew out of the end of the rocket and it rose from the ground.
After two minutes, the rocket had reached a speed of over 3,000 kilometers per hour. And yes, Bezos and his entourage crossed the 100-kilometer boundary that is referred to as the boundary of space.
– It was amazing
After about seven minutes in the air, the rocket was safely back on earth. The space capsule with the four people on board, took a little longer.
But ten minutes after being launched into space, they were safely on the ground again.
– We are so grateful we who have been on the trip, it was fantastic, said one of the newly-baked astronauts on the connection.
“This is the best day ever,” said another.
Watch a video summary of the rocket launch in the video window below:
Higher than Branson
Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launched the launch vehicle up to a height of 106 kilometers, 16 kilometers further into space than Richard Branson managed on July 11.
The whole spaceflight took no more than 10 minutes. Four of them were spent outside the Karman line, which is considered the boundary between the atmosphere and space. The passengers experienced weightlessness there for a few minutes.
The space capsule is fully automated, and there was no need for trained pilots either on the trip up or down. Branson’s Virgin Galactic aircraft needed two pilots to land. Bezos’ launch vehicle landed about 3 kilometers from the launch site, while the capsule landed with a parachute.
Blue Virgin has completed 16 successful trips with New Shepard since 2015. It plans two trips during the year.
Blue Origin confirmed on Tuesday that they have opened up the sale of tickets for these trips. Passengers will be drawn among those who participated in a charity auction for the fourth place on this trip. The auction raised just over NOK 250 million.
The winner of this place had to withdraw, and thus there was an opening for 18 year old Oliver Daemen from the Netherlands who received the space trip as a gift from his father.
Bezos’ younger brother Mark was also on the trip, as was 82-year-old Wally Funk. She was one of 13 female pilots who were included in NASA’s Mercury program in the early 1960s. But none of the women got up in the room.
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the goal of one day building colonies in space with artificial gravity, where millions of people can live and work.