Blue Origin just joined the ranks of companies that have taken people to space as a business. Billionaire Jeff Bezos blasted into space on Tuesday, in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard. Jeff Bezos and his brother, Wally Funk an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student beyond the Kárman line (62 miles above Earth) before their capsule returned to the desert. The New Shepard rocket also touched down in what appeared to be a picture-perfect landing.
The flight broke multiple records. It included both the oldest-ever astronaut Funk, 82 years old and the youngest Daemen, 18 years old. And while Virgin Galactic did enter space first by NASA’s definition, Blue Origin was more than a little keen to point out that its flight was the only one of the two to cross the Kárman line.
The spacecraft lifted off at 14:12 BST (09:12 EDT) from a private launch site near Van Horn, Texas. They parachuted back down to the West Texas desert 11 minutes later.