The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos and his three fellow travellers hit the space through Bezos’ Blue Origin’s first manned mission on Tuesday. Blue Origins is Bezos’ space company. The success also marked the beginning of the much-anticipated space tourism for elite tourists. “Happy, happy, happy! A very happy group of people in this capsule! Best day ever,” Jeff Bezos said after a touchdown in the West Texas desert. The four-member team came out of the capsule to the hugs of family and friends.
Up in space, the New Shepherd capsule, which reached an altitude of 107 km, gave the members the feeling of weightlessness for a few minutes. They could also enjoy the view of the earth’s curve. At 62 miles above the earth, the New Shepherd crossed the Karman line, an imaginary line considered as the gateway to outer space.
“It is dark here,” said 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, the oldest to travel to space. Other passengers were Bezos’ brother Mark Bezos and the 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, the youngest to reach space.
Following the liftoff, New Shepherd travelled at a speed of 3,700 kmph. Liquid hydrogen- liquid oxygen engine fuelled the trip. The by-product was only water vapour. The passengers spent three to four minutes on space.
The company plans to send two more flights this year. The next year will see more than that. CEO Bob Smith has said that the next mission will be in September or October. He also hinted that people are willing to spend on space travel.
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson had travelled to space on July 11. However, Blue Origin’s mission seems to be wider compared to that of Virgin Galactic.
In fact, Bezos and Blue Origin have not completely accepted Branson’s achievement. They argue that Virgin’s 53.5 miles mark is not sufficient to reach the ‘real space.’