Jeff Bezos and his spaceflight colleagues have managed to explore the edge of space and return to Earth.
Founder of a giant company e-commerce The 57-year-old Amazon and three of his traveling companions flew in a New Shepard rocket built by his company, Blue Origin, Tuesday (20/7), shortly after 9 a.m. local time.
New Shepard, named after America’s first astronaut Alan Shepard, is programmed to travel at three times the speed of sound before its capsule separates from the rocket and lays siege over Earth for three to four minutes. When the capsule detached from the rocket, Bezos and his three crew members aboard experienced weightlessness.
The fully automatic capsule then reentered the atmosphere and made a landing near the launch site, while the rocket made an automatic vertical landing a few kilometers away.
Blue Origin was founded in 2000 with the goal of creating a permanent space colony, where people would live and work.
As the capsule floated back to Earth with the help of three parachutes, Bezos notified Blue Origin’s mission control center that all crew members were safe, healthy and looking happy. The crew in question included Bezos’ brother Mark, 82-year-old pilot Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, and Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen.
“All the crew are so happy here,” Bezos said, and a few minutes later added: “My best day ever. It was amazing.”
When asked how he was doing, Mark Bezos replied: “I’m very good.”
Upon landing, the crew disembarked and were greeted by a group of family and friends, including the Bezos’ parents, Jackie and Mike; Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez; his son, Preston; and Blue Origin employees. After hugging and sharing the joy, the crew celebrated by drinking champagne. [ab/uh]