The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, launched to space on Tuesday aboard the autonomous New Shepard rocket ship for a short mission. Jeff Bezos was accompanied by his brother Mark, veteran pilot Wally Funk, and an 18-year-old Dutch physics student.
According to the lead flight director Steve Lanius, all passengers underwent rigorous training in preparation for the flight and were informed of all the procedures related to the mission. They crew also successfully completed five different training scenarios and a final exam in order to be deemed ready for launch.
The crew of four travelled in a capsule that offers stunning views of the Earth thanks to its large windows. The capsule reached approximately 66.5 miles (107 kilometers) above Earth before it descended back to West Texas. The rocket was also preserved as it made a vertical touchdown at its landing zone. The Amazon founder was thrilled with the whole experience and even calling it the“best day ever” after the capsule had landed safely.
The journey to space and back lasted around 10 minutes and 10 seconds by the time the capsule landed on back on Earth. The New Shepard spacecraft was built by the Bezos owned aerospace manufacturing company, Blue Origin. The spacecraft is expected to make three more journeys to space by the end of this year. Blue Origin plans to schedule tourist flights for space exploration in the coming years and have already been met with high demand. According to Bezos, sales are already almost at $100 million for all reserved future passenger flights. Blue Origin has not yet disclosed the prices for seats on its New Shepard rocket, however, seats could potentially reach upwards of $1 million each.