Billionaire Jeff Bezos safely back on Earth after a suborbital flight

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket successfully launched into space and its capsule safely returned to Earth carrying passengers Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin, brother Mark Bezos, Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, and Oliver Daemen, near Van Horn, Texas, Tuesday, July 20.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos was back safely on Earth Tuesday after a 10-minute suborbital flight aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft.

“Best day ever,” Bezos said after the capsule touched down near Van Horn, Texas.

The spacecraft is named after Alan Shepard, the first American launched into space.

The world’s richest man blasted off Tuesday from a remote desert launch site in Texas, as he became the second billionaire to self-fund a trip to space this month.

The fully automated rocket reached an altitude of about 106 kilometers after reaching Mach 3. Once at altitude, the booster separated from the capsule and returned to Earth landing upright near the launch site. The crew was able to experience weightlessness for 3 to 4 minutes before a parachute landing back on earth

The altitude surpassed the 85-kilometer mark reached by British billionaire Richard Branson on July 11 when he and five crewmates flew aboard his Virgin Galactic rocket-powered space plane.

The 57-year-old founder of e-commerce giant Amazon founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the goal of creating permanent space colonies where people will live and work.

Bezos was joined by his brother, Mark, plus 82-year-old aviation pioneer Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, making them the oldest and youngest persons to fly into space. (AP/VOA)

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