World’s richest man successfully completes space excursion

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Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin founder.
Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin founder.

The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, and his brother Mark, successfully completed their space trip yesterday, landing safely back on earth after 10 minutes.

The 57-year-old Bezos and his brother were accompanied on Blue Origin’s first human trip to space by the oldest person to go to space, 82-year-old Wally Funk, and teenager Oliver Daemen, 18.

Daemen was the first ever commercial astronaut to purchase a ticket and fly to space on a privately-funded and licensed space vehicle from a private launch site. He also became the youngest person to fly in space.

Bezos’s space excursion came just nine days after a similar jaunt by Sir Richard Branson, the British billionaire, who successfully travelled in his VSS Unity rocket plane.

VSS Unity successfully reached space, completing the company’s fourth rocket-powered spaceflight.

Yesterday, commenting on Blue Origin’s spaceflight, CEO Bob Smith said: “Today was a monumental day for Blue Origin and human spaceflight. I am so incredibly proud of Team Blue, their professionalism and expertise in executing today’s flight. This was a big step forward for us and is only the beginning.”

Upon landing, Bezos and his crew were greeted by their families and Blue Origin’s ground operations team for a celebration in the West Texas desert.

In a statement, Blue Origin said it expects to fly two more crewed flights this year, with many more crewed flights planned for 2022.

Founded in 2000 by Bezos, founder and executive chairman of Amazon, Blue Origin says it aims to make access to space cheaper and more reliable through reusable launch vehicles.

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