Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man on the planet, has launched into space at 3700 kilometers per hour and safely returned to Earth on a rocket created by his own business and shared with his brother, as well as the world’s youngest and oldest astronauts.
In the span of a little more than a week, the creator of Blue Origin and Amazon became the second billionaire to launch his rocket, after Elon Musk.
Blue Origin, which Bezos established in 2000 in Kent, Washington, near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, has not disclosed the price of a space flight. Still, it has reserved seats for other auction winners, according to the company. According to Bezos, ticket sales, including those for the auction, are nearing $100 million. By the end of the year, two additional flights are scheduled.
Comparison: Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic
According to company authorities, the recycled rocket and capsule utilized on Tuesday had already flown on the previous two space demonstrations.
Virgin Galactic has already taken more than 600 bookings for flights costing $250,000 each. The firm, which Branson founded in 2004, has sent crews into space four times and planned two more test flights from New Mexico before flying consumers next year, according to the corporation.
Blue Origin’s methodology was more methodical and deliberate in its approach. After 15 successful crewless test flights to orbit since 2015, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that it was time to take humans into space. The Federal Aviation Administration agreed last week, granting a commercial space license to the company in question.
Bezos, 57, who also owns The Washington Post, was elected to the position of the first member. Following that, his 50-year-old brother, Mark Bezos, an investor and volunteer fireman, received the prize, followed by Funk and Daemen. They went through two days of training together.
Jordan Bimm, a space historian from the University of Chicago, said that the passenger makeup is extraordinary. Imagine if NASA’s director decided he wanted to be the one to launch the first U.S. spacecraft in 1961 instead of Alan Shepard, he added in an emailed statement.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos blasts into space on his own rocket
When the rocket took off shortly before 11:15 pm AEST, there was loud applause from the four new astronauts on board. The rocket achieved zero gravity approximately five minutes after it went off.
Upon the capsule’s touchdown on the desert floor after the 10-minute journey, Mr. Bezos said, “It was the best day of my life.”
It was obvious that Ms. Funk, who came out of the capsule with a grin that was nearly as broad as her extended arms, didn’t want the journey she’d been waiting for for years and decades to come to an end.
She was one of 13 female pilots who went through the same exams as NASA’s all-male astronaut corps in the early 1960s but were denied entry into space because they were female pilots.
In a statement, the world’s oldest astronaut claimed she “enjoyed every minute” of the trip and couldn’t wait to go on another one.
“I’ve been looking forward to getting it up there for a long time,” Ms. Funk said at a news conference after the trip.
“I really want to go again – and quickly.”
Oliver Daemen, a last-minute replacement for the mystery winner of a $28 million auction who chose for a later flight, joined them on the ultimate joyride. He was the company’s first paying client and was also on the ultimate joyride.
In the auction, the Dutch teen’s father participated, and they agreed on a reduced, secret price last week when Blue Origin offered him the vacant place aboard the spacecraft.
“Oliver, the status is excellent,” the youngest astronaut in history replied during the trip when asked for an update hundreds of kilometers above the surface of the Earth.
Following a ride to the launch pad with his fellow passengers, Mr. Bezos arrived at the launch pad dressed in a blue flying suit and a cowboy hat. He waved to the adoring crowds gathering along the roadside and lifted his clenched right hand in victory.
Jeff Bezos Conversation with his Crew
The video, published and produced by Blue Origin, provides a peek of what it was like inside the rocket ship during the approximately three minutes the astronauts experienced inside the capsule.
Mr. Bezos was heard screaming “happy, happy, happy” soon after that, and he later said that “we’re very thankful to everyone who made this happen” when the space capsule successfully returned to Earth.
The four of them sprang out of their chairs and floated about, swapping Skittles and hurling balls at each other. It was possible to hear cheering, whooping, and exclamations of “wow.”
The video has one of them asking, “Who’s up for a Skittle?”
“It felt a lot cooler than it seemed,” Mr. Daemen said, laughing, as he took the stage for the news conference.
Jordan Bimm, a space historian at the University of Chicago, described the passenger makeup as “really extraordinary.” Imagine if the head of NASA decided he wanted to be the one to launch the first U.S. spacecraft in 1961 instead of Alan Shepard, he said in an email.
“That would have been completely out of the question!” Dr. Bimm expressed himself.
“It demonstrates just how much the notion of who and what space is for has evolved over the past 60 years,” says the author.
According to the Blue Origin broadcast, the rocket achieved a height of about 107 kilometers, which is more than 17 kilometers higher than the height attained by fellow billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight on July 11.
Because the capsule is completely automated, there is no need for skilled personnel for the brief up-and-down journey. For Mr. Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket aircraft to be able to fly, two pilots are required.
According to business officials, the recycled rocket and capsule that took the people into space on Tuesday had already been used on the firm’s previous two space demonstrations.
Meanwhile, Blue Origin, which Mr. Bezos established in 2000 in Kent, Washington, near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, has not opened ticket sales to the general public or released pricing for the flight.
Virgin Galactic has already taken more than 600 bookings for flights costing $250,000 each. Sent in 2004, the business was founded by Sir Richard Branson and has successfully launched crews into space four times. It expects two more test flights from New Mexico before flying consumers next year.
Blue Origin’s methodology was more methodical and deliberate in its approach. Having completed 15 successful unmanned test flights to orbit since 2015, Mr. Bezos has decided that it is ready to have passengers on board the spacecraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration agreed last week, granting a commercial space license to the company in question.
Mr. Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, stepped down earlier this month and gave $200 million to the National Air and Space Museum only last week. The majority of the $28 million raised via the auction has gone to space advocacy and education organizations. The remaining funds go to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future, which is its educational initiative.
There have been less than 600 individuals who have been to the edge of space or beyond it. Until Tuesday, the youngest astronaut was 25-year-old Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov, and the oldest was John Glenn, a Mercury astronaut who later became a shuttle astronaut.
Both astronaut billionaires and SpaceX’s Elon Musk want to dramatically increase the number of people who have been to space. Musk is skipping brief space hops and sending his private clients directly to orbit for tens of millions of dollars apiece, with the first flight scheduled for September.
This past Tuesday was the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a date that Mr. Bezos selected because of its historical importance.
Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan
Mr. Bezos pointed out this week that only one person can lay claim to having been the first human in space: Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin, who launched into orbit on April 12, 1961, in a spacecraft built by the Soviet Union.
But Bezos thinks that humanity will soon have to — not just the privileged who can provide the services of Blue Origin, but of all sorts. The space-nerd Valedictorian told his classmates that humans should migrate into space to protect the Earth, and he still believes it as an adult. Bezos may be the most sentimental of the space millionaires. After NASA’s early flights, he named his rockets and planned his voyage on the anniversary of the first lunar landing. Bezos allegedly arranged a covert, costly trip off the coast of Florida to explore the sea bottom in search of the Apollo 11 astronaut’s disposal engines from the giant racket.
Bezos was on deck when the gear was took aboard the ship, wipe the salty dirt off the wreck like a prize. His accomplishments have intertwined with those of his predecessors in the history of American spaceflight. Bezos achieved what someone else did 60 years ago today, but what Bezos can do next, since it is back on Earth, distinguishes its accomplishment. With a company opening, Bezos will use it to its most ambitious and far-reaching conclusion. What possibilities did he perceive at the edge of space?