The founder of Amazon and the richest person in the world, Jeff Bezos, 57, traveled into space with three companions aboard the New Shepard capsule, which reached an altitude of 107 kilometers before returning to the surface.
Inside the capsule made by Blue Origin, an airline set up by Bezos in 2000, the businessman traveled alongside his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old Dutch student who won the flight as a gift from Millionaire father Joes Daemen.
The billionaire and other passengers took off at 8:13 a.m. (10:13 a.m. GMT), 13 minutes late due to last-minute technical revisions. The launch took place on a platform outside the town of Van Horn in West Texas.
From launch to landing, the flight took just over ten minutes, and all crew members returned safely after the space experience.
During the flight, the capsule in which the passengers were staying separated from the booster missile when it reached a height of 76 kilometers and then continued to cover the remaining 30 kilometers.
Once the flight was completed, the capsule with the four passengers landed in a deserted spot near the launch pad. Moments ago, the missile returned to the base.
“Best day ever!” Bezos shouted inside the capsule after he landed.
3 billion dollar market
Bezos founded Blue Origin two decades ago. This was the company’s first manned flight into space.
In contrast to the trip by businessman Richard Branson last week, Bezos’ trip bypassed the fictional Karman line, located at an altitude of 100 kilometers above sea level, which some scientific sectors accept as the division between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
Branson’s flight, on a mission by his company Virgin Galactic, lasted about 20 minutes and reached an altitude of 89 kilometers, above the 80-kilometre mark, which the United States considers the limit of space.
Both flights point to what will be contentious for the spaceflight market, a sector that Swiss bank UBS predicts will be worth $3 billion a year a decade from now.
as/lf (Efe, Reuters)