Jeff Bezos, Founder of Blue Origin, has made his first entry into space aboard the New Shepard, an original make of Blue Origin.
At 9:12 am this morning, at a private launch site near Van Horn, Texas, the world’s No 1 billionaire and his brother, Mark Bezos made their entry into space. They were accompanied by an 82-year-old, Wally Funk, and 18-year old, Oliver Daemen. This feat sets a record for the oldest and youngest people to ever go to space.
The New Shepard, travelling at three times the speed of sound, made its ascent into suborbit, 60 miles above the earth in 11 minutes. Two minutes after liftoff, the capsule separated at 250,000 ft. It then continued on to a maximum altitude of 350,000ft towards the Karman line, the boundary that demarcates space from earth.
The New Shepard hovered 100km above the Karman line allowing its passengers to unstrap from their seats and experience four minutes of weightlessness. The passengers then made their descent by parachute into a landing port in the desert.
This feat makes Blue Origin the second space company to launch human passengers into space following Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic 9 days earlier.
Blue Origin, in response to the general notion that billionaires are making space travel their personal escape hatch said:
“Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth. To preserve Earth, Blue Origin believes that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress Earth into space. Blue Origin is working on this today by developing partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost, and serve the needs of all civil, commercial and defense customers”.Blue Origin
After the flight, Jeff Bezos during his astronaut status check response could be heard saying inside the capsule that it was the “best day ever”. The sentiment was shared by 82-year-old Wally Funk.
Bezos also announced that Blue Origin is now open for ticket sales and interested persons need only send an email to the company. Although the price of the ticket was not made known to the public, there are speculations that a ticket costs $28 million. This was suggested by a yet-to-be named auction winner.
The company intends to make two more trips into space before the end of 2021 as they urged interested bidders to make due arrangements for the next scheduled space flight. This includes the unnamed ticket auction winner who gave up his position last minute, enabling the father of 18-year old Oliver Daemen to purchase the ticket.
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