- Blue Origin intends to take tourists through the so-called Karman Line.
- The billionaire race for space is big business.
- The trip is the culmination of a 20-year journey for Bezos with his company, Blue Origin.
VAN HORN, Texas – Founder of Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin rocket crew took off from the West Texas desert on Tuesday, reached space, and returned to Earth with a soft parachute landing a few minutes later.
“Happy happy happy!” Jeff Bezos said from space. “You have a very happy crew here! “
The crew of the New Shepard rocket were treated to spectacular views of Earth as well as three or four minutes of weightlessness. The booster rocket landed smooth, landing vertically about seven minutes after takeoff. The capsule containing the astronauts landed with parachutes and an “air cushion” created by retro rockets a few minutes later.
“Best day ever,” said Jeff Bezos after landing, greeted by a sea of Blue Origin employees and other enthusiastic people on the company’s campus.
Also on board were her brother Mark, longtime women-in-space advocate Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, and Oliver Daemen, the de facto winner of an auction for the capsule’s fourth seat. Funk, 82, is now the oldest person in space. Daemen, 18, is the youngest. The exultant travelers stepped out of the capsule to receive hugs from family and friends.
Tuesday’s flight marked the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Bezos launched not only rapid space travel, but what the world’s richest man hopes will be a profitable business. Blue Origin, Bezos’ space tourism company, is planning two more flights this year alone.
“Congratulations to all of the Blue team past and present for reaching this historic moment in spaceflight history,” Blue Origin tweeted. “This first crew of astronauts made their mark in the space history books, opening the door through which many will eventually pass.”
Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic crew historically rushed to the edge of space last week. Bezos and his Blue Origin team say they raped him.
This is the 16th flight to New Shepard but the first to include people. Bezos and Blue Origin somewhat scorned Branson’s flight nine days ago, saying Virgin Galactic’s maximum altitude of 53.5 miles had not reached true space.
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NASA, the Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration and some astrophysicists consider that the border between atmosphere and space begins at 80 km. Thus, passengers on Virgin Galactic sightseeing trips, which can reach a maximum altitude of around 55 miles, will gain astronaut wings.
New Shepard flew approximately 66 miles. It is beyond the so-called Karman Line, 100 kilometers above the Earth, recognized by most international aviation and aerospace federations as the threshold of space.
“Only 4% of the world recognizes a lower limit of 80 km or 50 miles as the start of space,” Blue Origin tweeted before the Branson flight. “New Shepard flies over both borders. One of the many advantages of flying with Blue Origin.”
The billionaire race for space is big business. Blue Origin employs thousands of people across multiple states and campuses. Virgin Galactic has more than 800 employees. Both companies hope to sell forward tickets for $ 200,000 per seat or more.
Despite the competition, Blue Origin and Bezos posted a congratulatory message on social media after Branson landed. On Tuesday, Branson followed suit.
“Well done Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, Mark, Wally and Oliver. Awesome!” Branson said via Twitter after landing. “Good luck to the whole crew on my part and to the whole Virgin Galactic team. “
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New Shepard, a fully automated 60-foot rocket and capsule, is primarily designed for space tourism with automated flight systems, large windows, and a modern interior. After take-off, the booster returns to the facility for a vertical landing while the capsule briefly floats in space, then lands near the launch site using parachutes.
Branson, 71, and a crew of two pilots and three mission specialists were transported to an altitude of over eight miles by the VMS Eve aircraft, named after Branson’s mother. Live video then showed the VSS Unity spacecraft freed from between the mothership’s twin fuselages, using rocket power to fly to the somewhat contested edge of space.
Like Branson, Bezos, 57, gives his New Shepard vehicle the ultimate approval after becoming the first to fly there.
“It was just magic”:Virgin Galactic space plane carrying Richard Branson reaches edge of space and returns safely
For Bezos, the founder of Amazon whose fortune has been estimated at $ 177 billion, the short trip was the culmination of a 20-year journey with his company, Blue Origin. The theft was the company’s highlight.
Mark Bezos, 53, is a contractor and volunteer firefighter with the Scarsdale Fire Department in Scarsdale, New York. Jeff Bezos has said he considers his brother to be his oldest and closest friend. Funk is famous for her role in the “Mercury 13”, a group of women who received unofficial, privately funded astronaut training in the 1960s but were not selected to fly NASA missions. .
“I never thought I could get on,” Funk said after Bezos selected her for the flight. Now, finally, she’s officially an astronaut.
Daemen, a physics student from the Netherlands, was a finalist in an auction for the seat. The first place winner, who offered $ 28 million, opted to remain anonymous and pilot a future New Shepard mission instead. Daemen’s father, Joes, is the founder of Dutch hedge fund Somerset Capital Partners.
“I’m super excited to go to space,” he said. “I’ve dreamed of this all my life.”
Bacon brought from Arlington, Virginia