Safe landing for Jeff Bezos and crew as billionaire achieves childhood dream of becoming astronaut
Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man and founder of Amazon, has landed safely back on Earth with his crew following a successful launch by his private spaceflight company Blue Origin.
The billionaire achieved his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut 52 years to the day his dream was sparked by watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon, Mr Bezos himself flew into space from a launch site in West Texas.
He was joined in the mission by his younger brother Mark and the two people who have become the youngest and oldest to travel to space – Dutch 18-year-old Oliver Daemen and 82-year-old aerospace pioneer Wally Funk respectively.
At the apogee of their journey, the astronauts had an opportunity to take in extraordinary views of Earth and get out of their seats and float around the cabin for about four minutes.
The four became the first people to lift off aboard the New Shepard rocket built by the entrepreneur’s private spaceflight company Blue Origin.
“I know it’s going to change me and I’m excited to find out how,” Mr Bezos told CNN in an interview before the flight.
Ms Funk said she felt like she was 24 years old ahead of the launch: “It’s great, I love being here.”
More on Blue Origin
Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, Blue Origin’s first paying passenger, replacing an anonymous person who had previously bid $28m (£20.6m) for a seat on the flight.
Blue Origin said this mystery bidder knew that the flight was scheduled for 20 July before placing their bid, but they subsequently deferred their place “due to scheduling conflicts”.