WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Jeff Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon, just went to space and back to Earth on Tuesday.
- He was aboard a fully automated passenger capsule.
- The flight also set the record for sending the oldest and youngest person to space.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon, visited space and came back to Earth just ten minutes after liftoff.
On Tuesday (July 20), Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark, along with Wally Funk, an 82-year old pioneering female aviator, and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old Dutch physics student, visited space aboard the New Shepard rocket. The passenger capsule launched at 9:12 a.m. EDT from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas. At 9:16 a.m. EDT, the capsule was about 62 miles above sea level and crossed the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
When the capsule reached the peak of its ascent at 351,210 feet above sea level, all passengers in the capsule floated for several minutes. The capsule then started descending back to Earth, touched down at 9:19 a.m. EDT, and landed at 9:22 a.m. EDT.
After touch down, Bezos told capsule communicator Sarah Knights that it was the “Best day ever!”
Among all the passengers, Wally Funk is the only trained astronaut. In the early 1960s, she was among the Mercury 13, a group of women that prepared for spaceflight but were never sent to space, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). Funk later became a pilot and flight instructor. According to Space.com, Funk taught more than 3,000 people to fly and logged 19,600 flight hours.
Before the space flight, many Twitter users cheered Funk for finally making it to space.
Earlier this month, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson also flew to the edge of space with three passengers and two pilots aboard the company’s Unity 22 spacecraft.
Bezos’ flight was the first-ever fully automated flight to space. The flight now also holds the record of sending the oldest (Funk) and youngest (Daemen) person to space.
Source: Live Science