Wednesday, July 21, 2021 21:55 PM (GMT+7)
Jeff Bezos just entered space on his company’s first manned flight. He became the second billionaire in just a week to have traveled on his own spaceflight.
(From left) Oliver Daemen, Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk and brother Mark Bezos pose for a photo in front of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket on July 20. (Photo: AP)
The founder of Amazon and spaceflight company Blue Origin is accompanied by his 18-year-old brother from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old pioneer in space travel, the youngest and oldest two people to have ever flown into space. .
“What the best day ever?” Bezos said as the cable car carrying his team landed in the desert in western Texas, after making a 10-minute flight.
Named after the first American astronaut, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket flew to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon. Bezos chose this date to affirm the historical significance of the event. Before that, billionaire Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic also had a private flight to space from New Mexico.
During the flight on the evening of July 20, Blue Origin’s cable-sun reached an altitude of about 106km, 16km higher than Branson’s level reached on July 11. The cable was propelled by the engine at three times the speed of sound, then detached and landed vertically.
Billionaire Branson uses a manned aircraft, while Mr. Bezos’ cable is completely automated and does not need any operator to accompany it.
Within minutes of falling into zero gravity, video captured by the cable’s camera showed the four people floating and doing many celebratory moves. The Bezos brothers raised their hands to show off their mother’s greeting written in their palm. Cable-sun then landed by paragliding, and the visitors experienced the sensation of being affected by 6 times gravity when returning to Earth.
After landing, the group of tourists was greeted by their parents, spouses and children and celebrated with wine.
“My expectations were very high and everything exceeded my expectations,” Bezos said.
Their flight lasted 10 minutes and 10 seconds.
Sharing the joy of making Bezos’ dream trip is also Mrs. Wally Funk. She was one of 13 female astronauts who underwent similar tests with NASA’s all-female crew in the early 1960s but never went to space.
“I waited a long time to finally be able to get up there. I still want to go,” Funk said.
Attending the celebration was Oliver Daemen, the company’s first paying customer and the son of the final mystery winner at a recent $28 million charity auction. Daemen will join the next flight.
In a press conference after the journey, Bezos announced that he would give away $100 million per person to CNN contributor Van Jones and chef José Andrés.
Bezos says the two are free to do what they like with the money. “They can give it all to charity. Or they can share their wealth. They get to decide for themselves,” Bezos said.
The Amazon billionaire said that the money was related to the “surprise” charitable initiative he wanted to announce, called the Civilization and Courage Award, which works with the goal of honoring those who demonstrate bravery and courage. efforts to heal the world.
However, two private companies providing space tourism services for two billionaires Brenson and Bezos are being criticized for serving the pleasures of the rich while many are struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Karman Line at an altitude of 100,000m is considered the boundary between Earth and space – where there is a zero-gravity environment.