Earth’s richest man Jeff Bezos can officially add astronaut to his impressive resume. Bezos’ firm, Blue Origin, just completed its first flight to space with humans on board— and it was a success.
The Amazon founder traveled to outer space from Texas with his brother Mark, teenager Oliver Daemen, who became the youngest person in space, and former NASA trainee, Wally Funk, 82. Funk also made history as the oldest person to go to space.
The launch was initially scheduled for 9:00 ET but took off at 09:12 ET. The spacecraft reached outer space four minutes after launch later at 09:16 ET. Upon touchdown, Bezos described it as the “best day ever.”
During their trip, the passengers experienced weightlessness for nearly four minutes before their descent back to Earth. Also during the flight, there were three stages, each of which lasted about three to four minutes. First, the rocket launch, followed by four minutes of weightlessness, could see the Earth’s curve, and finally a three-minute descent back to Texas.
Jeff Bezos Makes History for American Space Exploration
For the final stage of the mission, the crew returned to Earth at a breezy 14 or 15 miles per hour, ending in a gentle touchdown in the desert at 09:23 ET. Amazed onlookers welcomed the crew with cheers and applause.
“That was incredible, that was unbelievable,” yelled Bezos in the capsule, adding that he “was surprised how easy zero-g was, remarkably natural,” with his brother noting that “it was ‘like swimming.”
Upon arrival, the champagne was flowing as the crew disembarked the capsule. The four astronauts celebrated with Bezos, who was still wearing his cowboy hat as he hugged his fellow passengers.
It was a mission that made history. Jeff Bezos became the wealthiest man to go to space, Funk becoming the oldest and Oliver becoming the youngest astronaut.
Soon after the landing, fellow billionaire Sir Richard Branson tweeted his congratulations to the fellow astronauts after they landed back on Earth. He wrote: ‘Well done @blueorigin, @jeffbezos , Mark, Wally, and Oliver. Impressive! Very best to all the crew from me and all the team at @virgingalactic.’
On July 11, the Virgin Galactic founder and his crew also flew to space and back.
Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, kissed Bezos just moments after returning to Earth. The 51-year-old was spotted hugging and kissing her billionaire boyfriend soon after he emerged from the capsule on Tuesday morning.
In addition, Bezos also lovingly embraced his sister Christine immediately after stepping from the capsule before then turning to his girlfriend.
Before their trip, Christina sent a message of support to her brothers, reminding them of time in the car as kids when they would pretend to be the crew of the Enterprise from “Star Trek.”
She said Jeff would play the part of Captain Kirk during a long car ride as children, Mark taking on the role of Sulu, and ‘I would be and Uhura, as we would battle Klingons while firing torpedoes.”
She added: “Mark fire those torpedoes if ordered to do so,” adding they should “hurry up and get your asses back so I can give you hug, godspeed New Shepard.”