The richest man on the planet, the American Jeff Bezos, finally realized, Tuesday, July 20, his dream of space aboard the first manned flight of his company Blue Origin. On his return he said to himself “stunned” and “stunned” by the beauty of the Earth after this trip which marks a new stage for the space tourism industry.
Along with Jeff Bezos on board this fully autonomous flight were his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, 82, and Blue Origin’s first paying customer, an 18-year-old Dutchman Oliver Daemen, who became the oldest and the youngest astronaut respectively in history.
The capsule carrying the four passengers, propelled by the launcher New Shepard, took off from an isolated site in the Western Desert of Texas. After the separation of the capsule, the neo-astronauts reached an altitude of 107 km, beyond the Karman line (100 km), internationally recognized limit between the Earth’s atmosphere and space.
They were able, for four minutes and in weightlessness, to admire the curve of the blue planet and the deep black of the rest of the universe, from large picture windows accounting for a third of the surface of the cabin. The capsule, fitted with three giant parachutes and a back-propellant, then landed in the desert after a flight of about ten minutes, while the reusable propellant autonomously joined a landing pad.
When they left, the passengers were greeted with cries of joy from the Blue Origin teams. Jeff Bezos sported a cowboy hat. “Everyone who has been in space has said that it has changed them and that they are stunned, stunned, by the Earth and its beauty, but also its fragility, and I completely agree.”, said the founder of Amazon at a press conference after his theft.
Blue Origin crew received kudos from NASA, while Richard Branson tweeted “Good game”. The British billionaire had styled Jeff Bezos to the pole while flying into space on July 11 in a Virgin Galactic plane. But it had only reached an altitude of 86 km.