Jeff Bezos finally visits space — 9 days after Richard Branson
Bezos, the 57-year-old businessman, alongside four other persons, on Tuesday, took off in New Shepard, a rocket named after Alan Shepard, the first American in space.
The spacecraft, built by Blue Origin, a rocket company owned by Bezos, rose from the company’s launch site in Van Horn, Texas, shortly before 9:15 and returned safely just after 9:30 Eastern time.
Blue Origin has launched New Shepard 15 times, and all had landed safely in space without anyone onboard.
Even though the flight did not enter orbit, it was a milestone for the company that the investor started more than 20 years ago, the first time a Blue Origin vehicle carried people to space.
According to report, one of the three persons that travelled with Bezos on the New Shepherd is Mark Bezos, his 50-year-old brother, who is also the co-founder and general partner at HighPost Capital, a private equity firm.
Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old student from the Netherlands, who had purchased a ticket on the second flight, happened to be the third passenger, while Mary Wallace Funk, an 82-year-old American astronaut, completed the team of four that landed on space with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
On July 11, TheCable had reported that Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, had become the first billionaire to travel to space.
The commercial astronaut, who travelled with five crew members on a Virgin Galactic spaceship, known as VSS Unity, described the journey as “Magical”.
Shortly after arriving, he had announced that Virgin Galactic, his commercial spaceship, plans to begin commercial space flight services in 2022.