Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and richest person on the planet blasted off Blue Origin's New Shepard flight on Tuesday and successfully completed the trip to space with his three crew members.
The Blue Origin blasted off 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, female aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen. 82-year-old Funk becomes the oldest person ever to fly to space.
The entire trip for the billionaire and his crew lasted for 10 minutes and they experienced the effects of zero gravity for a total of three minutes and traveled above the Kármán Line, the internationally-recognized boundary of space.
Bezos personally invited two of his fellow passengers — his brother Mark, Funk and Daemen was a last-minute fill-in for the winner of a $28 million charity auction who had a scheduling conflict.
Taking to Twitter, the Blue Origin confirmed the successful landing and wrote, “Capsule, touchdown! Welcome home to New Shepard’s first astronaut crew. A truly historic day.”
"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 in a tweet.
The rocket launched from a base in the west Texas desert at approximately 8:12 am local time after a brief hold.
New Shepard is a fully autonomous spacecraft and was launched vertically into suborbital space. It didn't have any Blue Origin staff astronauts during its debut human spaceflight.
The mission is historic as it is for the first time that a commercial company launched a privately funded and built spacecraft from a private launch range with astronauts on board.
Blue Origin- founded in 2000 by Bezos - aims to make access to space cheaper and more reliable through reusable launch vehicles.