Jeff Bezos’ rocket company lifts off with inaugural space trip

Posted by Anita Froneman on 21 July 2021

Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launched his rocket company, Blue Origin, by completing its first flight with people on board on Tuesday, July 20. Bezos and his fellow crew members took off from a base in Texas, United States, and went beyond the Karman line – the internationally recognised boundary that indicates the border of space.

He was accompanied by his brother, Mark Bezos, an 18-year-old Dutch student, Oliver Daemen and an 82-year-old American aviation pioneer, Wally Funk. Daemen and Funk became the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.

The capsule, New Shepard, reached an altitude of 106 kilometers and the ride lasted 10 minutes and 10 seconds. The event took place on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

‘My expectations were high and they were dramatically exceeded,’ Bezos said later according to Associated Press. ‘We’re going to build a road to space so our kids and their kids can build the future.’

Watch the event:

Earlier this month, Virgin brand owner Richard Branson and five crew members completed a similar venture aboard one of his Virgin Galactic space tourism company’s rockets. The ship reached an altitude of 86 kilometers.

Many celebrated the progress in technological development and its future potential, but others have been critical of the world’s richest people for blasting off into space while many are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media users did not miss an opportunity to make light-hearted comments about the distinct shape of Bezos’ rocket.

Space tourism is experiencing a revival but has, in fact been a popular concept for years. In 2002, Mark Shuttleworth became the first South African to travel to space as a space tourist.

Another company called Space Perspective is offering a balloon ride to the ultimate tourism frontier – the upper levels of the stratosphere that offers a complete view of planet earth usually reserved for astronauts.

Picture: Twitter/@DJSnM


A balloon ride to the stratosphere: Is space the new tourism frontier?


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