Jeff Bezos back on earth after 10-min flight to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft
- The founder of Blue Origin was accompanied by brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and 18-year-old passenger Oliver Daemen.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos blasted off Blue Origin's New Shepard flight on Tuesday from its Launch Site One in a remote location in the West Texas desert in the United States. The founder of Blue Origin was accompanied by brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and 18-year-old passenger Oliver Daemen.
"Congratulations to all of Team Blue past and present on reaching this historic moment in spaceflight history. This first astronaut crew wrote themselves into the history books of space, opening the door through which many after will pass," Blue Origin said after the capsule carrying the passengers touched down safely.
The mission marked another milestone in the space race started by private companies. It was the first time in the history of a commercial company launching a privately funded and built spacecraft from a private launch range with astronauts on board.
The astronauts boarded the crew capsule 30 minutes before the launch and the hatch closed six minutes later. They experienced three to four minutes of zero-g and travelled above the Kármán Line, the internationally-recognised boundary of space.
Blue Origin's recovery team joined the four-member crew to celebrate their return from space. The successful launch and subsequent touchdown made Wally Funk, 82, the oldest person and Daeman the youngest to have flown in space.
New Shepard, a fully autonomous spacecraft, didn't have any Blue Origin staff astronauts during its maiden human spaceflight.
Billionaire Richard Branson, who recently went into space aboard his Virgin Galactic's rocket ship, congratulated Blue Origin crew on their achievement. "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.