Tuesday, Jeff Bezos along with his brother Mark Bezos and two other crew members completed his inaugural trip to space in Blue Origin’s New Shephard. Apart from the Bezos brothers, the crew included 82-year-old Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who marked both the oldest and youngest individuals to reach outer space.
Blue Origin’s New Shephard took off for the fifteenth time, but it was the first time it had humans inside. The spacecraft had a specially built capsule inside, where the passengers would be and in case of an emergency, the capsule guaranteed the safety of the voyagers.
The shuttle, powered by a B3 engine, took off from Launch Site One at Van Horn, as the first unpiloted flight with passengers. While Sir Richards Branson was the first billionaire to go to the outer orbit of the planet at 53 miles, Bezos’ shuttle flew higher at an altitude of 62 miles.
Upon landing, the 57-year-old richest man on earth, thanked the entire crew and everyone in the Amazon fraternity, from consumers to the employees. “For every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated” said the e-retail mogul.
In an interview with CNBC, Bezos echoed the words of Neil Armstrong, “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.”
The flight was an exhibition for the space travel enthusiasts, as space tourism is set to become one of the most lucrative markets going forward and the race to grab the attention of future tourists is already on between Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.
Talking about the possibility of the business, Bezos added, “This suborbital tourism mission lets us practice. We need to do that over and over and over and get as good at running space vehicles as we are as a civilization at running commercial airliners.”
“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,” added Bezos.
With his role in Amazon now shortened, Bezos said that Blue Origin will receive his utmost care, “Since I stepped down as the CEO of Amazon, I have a lot of time to dedicate to this vision. so I’m going to split my time between this and the Bezos Earth Fund, which is the climate sustainability foundation.”
Apart from the billionaire, the flight also made the long-overdue dream come true for Funk, who was one of the women who passed the Apollo 13 test.
In her interview with the media, she said, “I’ve been waiting a long time to finally get up there. I loved it…and the four of us, we had a great time. It was wonderful. I want to go again — fast!”
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