Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), took off to outer space on a Blue Origin mission, hence kicking off space tourism.
Bezos Kicked-Off Space Tourism
The date marked the 52nd anniversary of humans landing on the Moon in NASA’s Apollo XI Mission, but five decades later the space race continues its course with several billionaire adventurers deciding to bet on commercial flights into space.
With today’s trip, Jeff Bezos has joined the competition alongside other powerful magnates such as Elon Musk and Richard Branson.
The flight lasted 10 minutes at a speed of 2,300 mph, reaching an altitude of 100 kilometers. With a seat valued at $28 million, it is estimated to have cost $2.8 million per minute.
The crew consisted of Bezos and his brother Mark, as well as Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer, and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old teenage tourist. There were no pilots since the capsule is completely automated.
Before the launch, the New Shepard had made 15 automated test flights with no people on board, as reported by NBC, with Bezos and the crew conducting an intensive training course on Sunday.
Amazon is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.
A Sensational Milestone
The group was traveling in the capsule attached to the top of the rocket, which they accessed half an hour before launch.
Once checks had been carried out, the four crew members awaited the start of the trip comfortably lying down and with their seat belts fastened.
After 9 am EDT, the countdown gave way to the engines’ ignition, propelling the New Shepard rocket into the sky at blistering speed.
As the mark where the Kármán line was set, rocket and capsule separated while laughter and shouts of joy filtered through the live broadcast of the event.
Meanwhile, the euphoric astronauts enjoyed the weightlessness and views of the Earth. The journey lasted 10 minutes after takeoff, and three parachutes slowed the fall.
The New Shepard vehicle will carry out two more flights this year. In the next launch, the still anonymous winner of the auction will travel for a seat in today's trip that he rejected due to scheduling problems.
Before taking off, Bezos told CNN that the space tourism mission was about “building a road to space for the next generations to do amazing things there, and those amazing things will solve problems here on Earth.”