Texas, July 21: Just a week after Richard Branson reached the edge of space, Jeff Bezos on Tuesday went above the Kármán Line, after saoring about 107 km above the Texas desert aboard his company Blue Origin’s New Shepard launch vehicle.
Bezos was accompanied on the voyage by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an aerospace pioneer, and Oliver Daemen.
The New Shepard rocket topped by a capsule, lifted off from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One near the West Texas town of Van Horn today at 9:11 a.m. EDT. After liftoff, the New Shepard rocket accelerated toward space at three times the speed of sound. At an altitude of 250,000 feet, the capsule separated, taking Bezos and his crew to the edge of space. The craft then descended under parachutes and landed again in the Texas desert. The entire flight lasted roughly 10 minutes.
Within minutes, the Blue Origin tweeted: "Booster touchdown! Third successful landing for this rocket and the first to carry four private citizens to space above the Kármán Line."
During that 11 minute voyage to space, passengers experience a few minutes of weightlessness and unforgettable views.
With that brief jaunt, he has become the second billionaire to go to space by his spacecraft. The billionaire also made history by being part of the first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew. It was indeed a landmark moment for man and the space tourism industry.
This month has witnessed two successful crewed suborbital flights from private companies. Just nine days earlier, Briton Richard Branson took his first flight to the edge of the space aboard his competing space tourism company Virgin Galactic’s successful inaugural suborbital flight from New Mexico.
After the launch, Branson congratulated the Blue Origin crew for the major milestone in commercial spaceflight. "Well done @blueorigin, @jeffbezos, Mark, Wally, and Oliver. Impressive! Very best to all the crew from me and all the team at @virgingalactic," Branson tweeted.