The first crew launch of his space company Blue Origin was a success, with two new records
When he was 18, Jeff Bezos said he wanted to build hotels, amusement parks and colonies in orbit for millions of people, gradually transforming the Earth into a kind of gigantic naturalistic area to save it. Now that he is 57 years old and is one of the richest people in the world, Bezos has reached Space, albeit for a few minutes and without the possibility of stopping at an orbital hotel, which does not yet exist. The launch, much anticipated and anticipated by the media around the world, took place yesterday from Texas around 8:10 am , thanks to the space company Blue Origin of the same Bezos, who became a billionaire thanks to his Amazon.
It was the first manned flight for New Shepard, the rocket developed in recent years by Blue Origin with the aim of entering the nascent space tourism market.
New Shepard is 18 meters tall, uses a single engine and has a space capsule on its top in which Bezos and three other people were housed. The rocket is self-driving and does not require the presence of a pilot.
The launch took place from the Blue Origin base southeast of El Paso in West Texas. Having reached almost 100 kilometers of altitude, the space capsule separated from the rest of the rocket and remained in outer space for a few minutes, then began its return to the ground. Its descent was slowed by parachutes and finally by the firing of some retractable rockets for a few seconds, which made contact with the ground less traumatic. The whole experience lasted about ten minutes.
New Shepard launch on July 20, 2021 from Blue Origin base in Texas (AP Photo / Tony Gutierrez)
After 15 test launches with no people on board, today’s one took place just over a week after Virgin Galactic’s maiden voyage, which allowed its founder, British billionaire Richard Branson, to experience the absence of weight. Blue Origin was supposed to have made its own experimental flight before Virgin Galactic, which then decided to anticipate the launch: Branson then went into space before Bezos, who didn’t take it very well.
In the days before the launch of Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin had released press releases and messages on social networks to show the differences compared to the competition, especially on the share reached by the respective spacecraft. For the United States Federal Aviation Agency, Space begins above 80 kilometers of altitude, an altitude to which Virgin Galactic goes, while more internationally shared conventions identify the beginning of Space beyond the so-called Kármán line at 100 kilometers of altitude, which is the altitude reached by Blue Origin.