Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, went to space and back Tuesday morning on an 11-minute, supersonic joy ride aboard the rocket and capsule system developed by his space company, Blue Origin.
Bezos’ brother, Mark Bezos, joined him on this historical ride. Wally Funk was also onboard. Funk is one of the “Mercury 13” women who trained to go to space in the 20th century but never got to. The final passenger was an 18-year old recent high school graduate named Oliver Daemen, Blue Origin’s first paying customer and whose father, an investor, purchased his ticket.
On Tuesday, the four passengers strapped into their New Shepard crew capsule at Blue Origin’s launch site in rural West Texas. The rocket lit its engines at 8:12 am CT, sending the vehicle blaring past the speed of sound and up to more than 65 miles above the desert landscape, topping out at an altitude of 351,210 feet.
At the peak of the flight path, the passengers were weightless for about three minutes. Then, they were allowed to unstrap themselves from their seat to float around and soak in panoramic views of the Earth and the cosmos.