Round trip to space. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, has completed his supersonic journey of 11 minutes aboard the space capsule, New Shepard, built by Blue Origin, his private company. Along with Jeff Bezos were brother Mark, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aviator, and an 18-year-old recent college graduate named Oliver Daemen, the first paying customer, whose father, an investor, bought the ticket.
Funk and Daemen became, respectively, the oldest and youngest person to ever travel to space. This flight represents the first suborbital space tourism experience with Blue Origin’s New Shepard (which has the largest windows ever mounted on a spacecraft), which the company plans to use to transport wealthy passengers into space in the coming months and years.
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 20, 2021
The crew members boarded the space capsule half an hour before departure and were greeted by the voice of the control center inviting them to “sit back and relax.” The goal was reach 106 kilometers in altitude to allow passengers to experience the sensation of weightlessness for 3 or 4 minutes, then the rocket returned to the ground, landing in the Texas desert. Jeff Bezos was the first to come out of the capsule, followed by Olivier Daemen, Wally Funk and his brother Mark.
Upon landing, Jeff Bezos said it was the “Best day ever”. The Amazon founder decided to be the first person to travel on his spaceship precisely to demonstrate his confidence in the safety of the vehicle. “We know it’s safe,” he told the Cnn. “If it’s not safe for me, then it’s not safe for anyone.”
Blue Origin is planning up to two other tourist space flights aboard the New Shepard this year. But he did not specify whether he will set a price for the tickets, nor did he reveal how much Daemen, the 18-year-old Dutchman who flew with Bezos, had to pay for his seat.
There are already many other people who would like to leave: at least 7600, from 159 countries, have registered to participate in the upcoming auctions.