Just nine days after billionaire Richard Branson flew to space aboard his VSS Unity, the world's richest man and former Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has flown 100 km above the surface of the earth in the New Shepard spaceship from a desert site in West Texas on Tuesday.
The Blue Origin spacecraft crew include Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old former pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old teenager Oliver Daeman. They flew beyond the Karman Line and experience the never-before-seen view of the planet earth from space.
The total flight duration was 11 minutes. All crew members had been undergoing extensive training for the past several days and there were no trained astronauts navigating them on their journey to spacecraft.
You can watch the live broadcast of the Blue Origin spaceflight on BusinessToday.In live blog as bring you all the live updates.
Blue Origin: "Congratulations to all of Team Blue past and present on reaching this historic moment in spaceflight history. This first astronaut crew wrote themselves into the history books of space, opening the door through which many after will pass."
Blue Origin's recovery team is headed out to meet Jeff, Mark, Wally, and Oliver for a celebration marking their return from space.
The capsule is now descending with the crew at a comfortable 16 mph / 26 km/h on their way to touchdown in the West Texas desert.
Third successful landing for this rocket and the first to carry four private citizens to space above the Kármán Line.
The capsule has just reached apogee. The crew is now experiencing life-changing views of Earth from above the Karman Line.
Mission Control has confirmed separation of the capsule from the booster. Jeff, Mark, Wally and Oliver are now unbuckling their harnesses and experiencing weightlessness.
New Shepard has cleared the tower with Jeff, Mark, Wally, and Oliver on board
T-1 minute and counting. Thousands of people over the years have helped #NewShepard reach this historic moment in human spaceflight history. Godspeed to New Shepard’s first crew! Watch live on http://BlueOrigin.com
The duration of the entire flight would be nearly 11 minutes. Blue Origin's New Shepard will take the passengers up to the Karman line, which is at a height of 100 km from the surface of the earth. During the flight, the passengers will experience several minutes of weightlessness.
The go poll is complete. New Shepard is go for launch. Watch live on BlueOrigin.com.
Jeff, Mark, Wally and Oliver are now getting into their seats, buckling up, and preparing for hatch close in advance of New Shepard’s flight to space and back.
Astronauts have climbed the tower and are preparing to ingress the New Shepard crew capsule, RSS First Step, says Blue Origin.
"We are go for New Shepard astronaut load. Crew Member 7 is now taking Jeff, Mark, Wally, and Oliver out to the launch pad. Watch live on BlueOrigin.com," says Blue Origin.
#NSFirstHumanFlight live broadcast hosted by Ariane Cornell starts now on BlueOrigin.com.
Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is its reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line – the internationally recognised boundary of space.
Blue Origin has been flight testing the New Shepard rocket and its redundant safety systems since 2012. The program has had 15 successful consecutive missions including three successful escape tests, showing the crew escape system can activate safely in any phase of flight.
Blue Origin's first human flight on Tuesday will be the 16th flight in New Shepard’s history.
"Safety is and will always be our top priority," says Blue Origin Senior Manager Laura Stiles.
New Shepard is on the pad. The launch team completed vehicle rollout this morning and final preparations are underway. Liftoff is targeted for 8:00 am CDT/13:00 UTC.
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