“This is a tiny little step of what Blue Origin is going to do.”
We followed the planned launch of the first crewed mission of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin for the past few weeks. The mission included Bezos’ brother, Mark, and 82-year old Wally Funk, a true pioneer in the field of aviation.
The mission succeeded, as the rocket launched as planned, and the crew landed safely.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos set several records for human spaceflight Tuesday as he and three crewmates soared into space aboard a Blue Origin rocket from Texas, and landed safely in the desert about 10 minutes later.
The New Shepard suborbital rocket lifted off about 9:12 a.m. EDT from the company’s Corn Ranch launch site 160 miles east of El Paso.
As the capsule reached space, the crew was heard over a live broadcast cheering and whooping. “It’s dark up here!” said aviator Wally Funk, 82, now the oldest person to fly into space.
“You have a very happy crew up here, I want you to know,” Bezos said.
Today’s mission recorded several firsts: Bezos is the wealthiest man to go to space, Funk the oldest, and 18-yeat old Oliver Daemen officially became the youngest astronaut. Daemen was the only paying customer on this trip after his father, who heads a private equity firm, became the runner-up in an auction for the seat after the winner withdrew.
Reports indicate all had a good time on the short trip to suborbital space.
Bezos and the crew of Blue Origin took off from their base at Van Horn, Texas, at 9.12am EST on Tuesday, the 52nd anniversary of the moon landing, 12 minutes behind schedule. They ascended for four minutes before the New Shepard rocket booster separated from their capsule, leaving them floating in zero gravity for four minutes.
Bezos and Mark floated about, pretended to swim and tossed skittles in each other’s mouths while in the air, they said afterwards. They then returned to earth with parachutes controlling the pace of their descent, touching down in the Texas desert at 9.22am EST, 10 minutes and 20 seconds after liftoff.
They were greeted by a cheering crowd that included Bezos’ girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, his children, sister, Mark’s wife and Oliver’s millionaire parents. They traveled 66 miles above the surface of Earth – 13 miles higher than Virgin Galactic billionaire Branson. He tweeted his congratulations to the team afterwards.
…Champagne was flowing as the crew left the capsule, removed by the ground team from Blue Origin, who first had to ‘ground the capsule’ by sending a large static charge over it.
The four astronauts celebrated with ‘space cowboy’ Jeff Bezos who was still wearing his cowboy hat while hugging his fellow passengers on the sand of the Texas desert.
“This is a tiny little step of what Blue Origin is going to do. What we’re really trying to do is build reusable space vehicles. It’s the only way to build a road to space, and we need to build a road to space so that our children can build the future,” Bezos told CNBC’s Morgan Brennan.
“If you want to be a space entrepreneur today, you have to do everything from the beginning. There’s no real infrastructure that’s at an affordable cost. So that’s what we have to do, is build that kind of infrastructure and then future generations will get to rest on top of it,” Bezos added.
And here is some fascinating background for Star Trek fans:
Christina Bezos sent a message of support to her brothers as they prepare for their trip to the edge of space, reminding them of time in the car pretending to be the crew of the Enterprise.
‘We are so excited for this monumental launch, Jeff this is something you’ve dreamed off your whole life,’ she said, adding that Mark is an inspiration.
She said Jeff would play the part of Captain Kirk during a long car ride as children, Mark taking on the role of, Sulu, and ‘I would be and Uhura, as we would battle Klingons while firing torpedoes.
‘Mark fire those torpedoes if ordered to do so,’ she said, adding they should ‘hurry up and get your asses back so I can give you hug, god speed New Shepard.’
Hopefully, the success of private missions will continue so that ultimately we can go where no one has gone before.DONATE
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