Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has blasted into space on board a rocket ship built by his
company Blue Origin.
Bezos was joined by his brother, Mark, 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen, and 82-
year-old Wally Funk, a retired professional aviator who trained in a privately-funded
“Women in Space” programme back in the 1960s which was later cancelled. She is
now the oldest person to have been into space.
Blasting off from Texas, they travelled in the New Shepard rocket ship, built by Bezos’
Blue Origin space tourism company.
“Best day ever,” Bezos said after the capsule touched down on the desert floor at the
end of the 10-minute flight.
The Blue Origin flight comes eight days after British billionaire Richard Branson went to space for a short flight.
But unlike Branson’s Virgin Galatic rocket, which required two pilots, the New
Shepard is entirely automated.
It has so far undertaken 15 suborbital test flights but Tuesday’s flight was the first
with a human crew.
It was also the world’s first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew.
Speaking to NBC News on Monday, Bezos dismissed any jealousy towards Branson
for beating him to into space, saying: “You know there’s one person who was the
first person in space. His name was Yuri Gagarin and that happened a long time ago.
I think I’m going to be number 570 or something.”