VIDEO: 'Best day ever:' billionaire Bezos has successful first space jaunt - GulfToday

VIDEO: 'Best day ever:' billionaire Bezos has successful first space jaunt


Jeff Bezos after Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard craft capsule returned from space.

Gulf Today Report

The Blue Origin capsule carrying Jeff Bezos and three others landed in the West Texas desert after crossing the frontier of space and back, the company's live broadcast showed. 

The spacecraft floated on three huge parachutes before stirring up a cloud of sand as it descended at a speed of a mile or two (kilometers) per hour.

Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, accompanied by three individuals, set off on Tuesday, on a space trip from the desert of Texas, aboard the New Shepard launch vehicle of his company Blue Origin, and then returned again to Earth, on a mission that heralds the start of a new era of private space flights.

The spacecraft took off from a Blue Origin site 32 kilometers from the rural town of Van Horn.

The sky was generally clear with a few clouds on a cool morning.

The flight of the 57-year-old American billionaire took about 10 minutes and 20 seconds, and happened nine days after Britain's Richard Branson boarded the first successful flight of space tourism company Virgin Galactic from New Mexico.

The mission was part of a fierce competitive battle between Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic to take advantage of the lucrative space tourism market that Swiss bank UBS estimates will be worth $3 billion a year within a decade.

Branson reached space first, but Bezos' flight reached an altitude of 100 km, higher than Branson's 86 km flight, in what experts call the world's first mission of its kind to be launched with a crew without astronauts.

Bezos was accompanied on this flight by pioneer Wally Funk, 82, the oldest person to have ever flown into space, and 18-year-old physics student Oliver Damon, the youngest person to go into space. 

They were also joined by Bezos' brother Mark.

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