20th July 2021 marks the day when Jeff Bezos, the multimillionaire, boards his company Blue Origin’s first successful human test flight to the suborbital space with three other crewmates.
The richest man on the planet flew off the planet on an 11-minute journey along with other crew members who include Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student.
The former Amazon CEO and founder long talked about his dream of millions of people working and living in space and this space mission embarks his first step. The launch took place shortly after 6 am pacific time (09:12 EDT to be precise) from a private launch site near Van Horn, Texas.
“A very happy group of people in this capsule,” said Bezos after the spaceship touched down in the west Texas desert following a 10-minute hop to the Karman line and back.
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 for building floating space colonies with artificial gravity where millions of people will work and live and currently the company is developing heavy-lift orbital rockets called New Glenn and a Moon lander.
“This might have looked easy today, it was anything but easy,” said Gary Lai, the lead designer of New Shepard.
The rocket was launched towards space at 2300 mph (3700 kph) using a liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen engine whose only byproduct is water vapor.
The astronauts unbuckled and experienced space for three to four minutes as it got high enough and the capsule separated from its booster.
The booster returned autonomously to a landing pad just north of its launch site, while the capsule fell back to Earth with three giant parachutes, and finally a thruster, for a gentle landing.