The billionaire Jeff Bezos launched Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft on Tuesday. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launched the spacecraft from its launch site from one in the United States’ West Texas desert.
After a 10-minute trip to space aboard in New Shepard spaceship, he then returned to Earth. The creator of Blue Origin was joined by his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and 18-year-old passenger Oliver Daemen.
The Blue Origin company congratulated them after the capsule carrying the passengers touched down safely. It states “Congratulations to all of Team Blue past and presents 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”.
The astronauts boarded the crew capsule 30 minutes before liftoff, with the hatch closing six minutes later. They travelled much above Kármán Line, the globally recognized border of space, and experienced three to four minutes of zero gravity.
The entire proceedings are described as the spacecraft accelerated to Mach 3, three times the speed of sound, after taking off from the Texas location. New Shepard detached from the rocket three minutes into the flight, and passengers began to feel weightless and zero gravity when they unbuckled from their seats. New Shepard passed the Karman line and entered space at four minutes, while the rockets began their trek back to Earth.
At nine minutes, the first parachute was released, slowing the capsule to a speed of 26 kilometres per hour. At a speed of 1.6 kilometres per hour, the capsule landed safely in the desert, where the rescue and recovery crew were waiting.
The four-member crew was joined by Blue Origin’s recovery team to celebrate their return from space. With the successful launch and subsequent touchdown, Wally Funk, 82, became the oldest person to fly in space, while Daeman became the youngest.
Expressing his emotion, Jeff Bezos said after landing, “Best day ever, it was incredible”.
The mission was a significant step forward in the private space race that began in the 1960s. It was the first time in history when a commercial enterprise launched a privately funded and manufactured spacecraft with humans aboard from a private launch range.