Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has successfully launched and returned its first-ever spaceflight with six passengers.
On July 20 this year, Bezos flew 62 miles high on a New Shepard rocket alongside his brother, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, the oldest and youngest people to ever travel to space respectively.
We do have a modern space race on our hands, with Bezos, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and other tycoons keen to blast off into the next era of space exploration. Today, December 11, the Amazon founder’s firm took another small step for man, having now flown 14 people to space and back this year alone.
The New Shepard mission, named NS-19, carried a crew of two guests and four customers: Laura Shepard Churchley, the daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard; television host and NFL star Michael Strahan; space industry executive Dylan Taylor; investor Evan Dick; venture capitalist Lane Bess and his son Cameron Bess, as per CNBC.
Launching from Blue Origin’s private base in West Texas, the spacecraft reached more than 340,000ft high, allowing the crew to experience around three minutes of weightlessness before returning to Earth.
In order to reach such a height, above Bezos’ maiden voyage, the capsule accelerated at more than three times the speed of sound. The mission lasted close to 11 minutes in total. ‘What an amazing mission from Launch Site One. Congrats to all of Team Blue on executing and supporting today’s flight,’ Blue Origin tweeted upon touchdown.
Back in November, Tom Hanks revealed that Bezos invited him on a trip to space. ‘Well yeah, provided I pay,’ he told Jimmy Kimmel.
‘It costs like $28 million or something like that. And I’m doing good, Jimmy – I’m doing good – but I ain’t paying $28 million. You know what, we could simulate the experience of going to space right now. I don’t need to spend 28 million bucks to do that.’
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