Blue Origin capsule reaches house and returns

  • Blue Origin wants to send tourists past the so-called Karman Line.
  • The billionaires race for space is big business.
  • The trip is the culmination of a 20 year journey for Bezos with his company Blue Origin.

Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his New Shepard missile crew took off from the desert of west Texas towards space and fame on Tuesday and returned safely to Earth about 11 minutes later.

“Liftoff! #NewShepard cleared the tower with Jeff, Mark, Wally and Oliver on board,” tweeted his space tourism company Blue Origin.

The crew received spectacular views of Earth from space along with three or four minutes of weightlessness before returning. About seven minutes after liftoff, the booster rocket touched down gently. The spaceship with the astronauts landed a few minutes later with parachutes.

Not only did Bezos start a quick voyage into space, he also hoped for a profitable business from the richest man in the world. Blue Origin is planning two more flights this year alone. Today’s flight marks the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Richard Branson and his crew at Virgin Galactic historically sped to the edge of space last week. Bezos and his Blue Origin team say they hurt it today.

It’s the 16th flight for New Shepard, but the first to include people. Bezos and Blue Origin got a bit dismissive of Branson’s flight nine days ago, saying that Virgin Galactic’s highest altitude of 83.5 miles did not reach true space.

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NASA, the Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration and some astrophysicists assume that the boundary between atmosphere and space begins 80 kilometers in height. For example, passengers on Virgin Galactic tourist trips that can reach a maximum altitude of about 55 miles are given astronaut wings.

Blue Origin intends to send tourists about 66 miles up in the air. This is beyond what is known as the Karman Line, 62 miles above Earth, which is recognized by most international aerospace associations as the threshold to space.

“Only 4% of the world recognize a lower limit of 50 miles or 50 miles as the beginning of space,” tweeted Blue Origin prior to Branson’s flight. “New Shepard flies across both borders. One of the many benefits of flying with Blue Origin.”

The billionaires race for space is big business. Blue Origin employs thousands across multiple states and campuses. Virgin Galactic has more than 800 employees. Both companies hope to sell tickets for $ 200,000 per seat or more.

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New Shepard, a fully automated 60-foot rocket and capsule, is primarily designed for space tourism thanks to automated flight systems, large windows, and a modern interior. After take off, the booster returns to the vertical landing, while the capsule hovers briefly in space and then touches down with the help of parachutes near the launch site.

Branson, 71, and a crew of two pilots and three mission specialists were lifted to an altitude of more than eight miles by the aircraft VMS Eve, named after Branson’s mother. Live video then showed the release of the VSS Unity spacecraft between the twin hulls of the mothership, using rocket power to fly to the somewhat controversial frontier of space.

Like Branson, Bezos, 57, will give his New Shepard vehicle the ultimate endorsement by being the first to fly it. Also on board are his brother Mark, longtime advocate of women in space Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, and Oliver Daemen, the de facto winner of an auction for the fourth seat of the capsule. Funk, 82, will be the oldest person in space. Daemen, 18, will be the youngest.

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For Bezos, the Amazon founder, whose net worth is estimated at $ 177 billion, the short trip was the culmination of a 20-year journey with his company Blue Origin. The flight was the company’s most famous and defining moment.

Mark Bezos, 53, is an entrepreneur and volunteer firefighter with the Scarsdale Fire Department in Scarsdale, New York. Jeff Bezos said he regards his brother as his oldest and closest friend. Funk is most famous for her role in “Mercury 13,” a group of women who received privately funded, unofficial astronaut training in the 1960s but were not selected to fly NASA missions.

“I never thought I’d go up,” said Funk after Bezos selected her for the flight.

Daemen, a physics student from the Netherlands, came second in an auction for the seat. The first place winner, who bid a whopping $ 28 million, chose to remain anonymous and fly a future New Shepard mission instead. Daemen’s father, Joes, is the founder of the Dutch hedge fund Somerset Capital Partners.

“I’m very excited to be going into space,” he said. “I’ve dreamed about it all my life.”

This still image from the Blue Origin video shows Mark Bezos, Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen in the capsule as they travel to Van Horn on July 20, 2021 for the first manned flight of Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard aircraft.  Texas.

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