The trip, which lasted just over 10 minutes, made Bezos the second billionaire to travel to space after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson rode his company’s space plane earlier this month.
Jeff Bezos on Tuesday became the second billionaire to ride his own rocket to the edge of space.
Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin and Amazon, launched from Texas aboard the New Shepard rocket in its first trip carrying humans. Bezos was joined by both the oldest and youngest people to fly into space – 82-year-old pioneering female aviator Wally Funk and 18-year-old Dutch high school grad Oliver Daemen – and his brother Mark. Cheers could be heard from passengers as the rocket ascended.
New Shepard has launched more than a dozen times since 2015 but never with people onboard. Blue Origin has plans for two more passenger trips by the end of the year.
The trip, which lasted just over 10 minutes, made Bezos the second billionaire to travel to space after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson rode his company’s space plane earlier this month. Blue Origin was aiming for an altitude of about 66 miles, which is 10 miles higher than Branson’s trip.
The rocket’s booster successfully touched down following separation from the capsule, which carried the humans. The capsule’s three parachutes deployed as it floated back down to earth.
Bezos and Branson faced criticism for using their wealth to take trips to space. Bezos acknowledged the critics to CNN, saying “they’re largely right.”
“We have to do both, he said. “You know, we have lots of problems here and now on Earth and we need to work on those, and we always need to look to the future.”