World’s richest man, Jeff Bezos made a successful flight to space and back with New Shepard. The rocket and capsule launched into the suborbital space and returned with the capsule falling back with parachutes to land in West Texas desert.
Blue Origin’s maiden crew included the quartet consisting of Jeff Bezos; his brother Mark Bezos, director of Bezos Family Foundation and a volunteer firefighter; trailblazing female aviator Wally Funk, who also became the oldest astronaut at 82 with the Blue Origin flight; Teenager Oliver Daemen, who was a last-minute addition and also made the record for the youngest astronaut at 18 with the flight.
The 11-minute suborbital flight took the crew past the Karman Line, which is a recognized space boundary at 330,000 feet (62 miles), whereas Richard Branson’s flight was to 86 kilometers (53 miles).
Three chutes! The capsule is now descending with our crew at a comfortable 16 mph / 26 km/h on their way to touchdown in the West Texas desert. #NSFirstHumanFlight
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 20, 2021
The entire flight of New Shepard was automated as opposed to Virgin Galactic’s which had two pilots for the mission. Additionally, Virgin Galatic was dropped from a specially designed aircraft whereas Blue Origin’s 60-foot tall New Shepard launches vertically like a rocket.
Bezos’ New Shepard is named after Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space in 1961.