Jeff Bezos launches into space on his Blue Origin rocket – Robb Report
With excited cries of “woo-hoo” and “yeah” aboard the weightless cockpit, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos performed a successful flight aboard New Shepard this morning at 8:00 a.m. from its launch pad in outside of Van Horn, Texas. The rocket had a top speed of 2,233 mph and lasted exactly 10 minutes and 10 seconds.
Bezos was joined by his brother Mark, flight legend Wally Funk and Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen. Funk, 82, and Daeman, 18, will be the oldest and youngest people to travel to space.
The flight follows Sir Richard Branson’s successful space trip aboard Virgin Galactic’s Unity22 on July 12.
Funk had been part of the 1960s Mercury 13 program that trained women to go to space, but it was canceled. With 19,600 hours, she dreamed of being an astronaut for a long time. “Everything the FAA has, I’m licensed for,” she said. “I didn’t think I would ever get into space. But I like to do everything first.
Bezos, who embarked on the rocket’s first crewed flight, said he wanted to make space travel safe and routine, and eventually bring millions into space.
The New Shepard can carry six people and will operate independently. Its rocket and capsule, designed to be reusable, take off and land vertically. It has been tested 15 times without passengers. The capsule separated from the rocket at 250,000 feet and continued over 100 km above Earth, allowing participants a few minutes of weightlessness. New Shepard then descended and landed in the Texas Desert, where the astronauts were later recovered.
Blue Origin’s rocket and space capsule are faster than Virgin Galactic’s vehicle to reach the edge of space, so the entire flight took 11 minutes. Virgin Galactic used a separate aircraft called Eve to transport the six-seat Unity22 before releasing it. He fired a rocket motor to take it up to 50 miles.
The interior of the Blue Origin boat has been designed to be spacious, with the ability to float during the few minutes of weightlessness. The capsule’s large windows measure 3.5 feet by 2.3 feet, making them six times the size of a Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner. “We would have made it out of glass if we could,” one of the designers said during the live broadcast.
“You have a very happy team here,” Bezos said from the capsule. “It’s the best day ever. I was surprised how easy Zero G is. It’s like swimming.