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World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos Rockets Into Space

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The spacecraft carried Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, 82-year-old former pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old teen Oliver Daeman beyond the Karman Line as reported by Politico.

The AMAZON founder Jeff Bezos landed safely after blasting into space on board a rocket ship built by his company Blue Origin. “Best day ever,” Bezos said after the capsule touched down on the desert floor at the end of the 10-minute flight.

A post-launch media briefing will be held at 11 a.m. ET and streamed online.

Named after America’s first astronaut, Alan Shepard, the Blue Origin rocket soared from remote West Texas on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a date chosen by Bezos for its historical significance. He held fast to it, even as Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson pushed up his own flight from New Mexico in the race for space tourist dollars and beat him by nine days.

Blue Origin reached an altitude of about 106 kilometres, more than 16 kilometres higher than Branson’s July 11 ride. The 18-metre (60-foot) booster accelerated to Mach 3 or three times the speed of sound to get the capsule high enough, before separating and landing upright.

Blue Origin — founded by Bezos in 2000 in Kent, Wash., near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters — has yet to open ticket sales to the public or reveal the price. For now, it’s booking auction bidders. Two more passenger flights are planned by year’s end, said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith.

The recycled rocket and capsule that carried up Tuesday’s passengers were used on the last two space demos, according to company officials.

Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 reservations at $250,000 US apiece. Founded by Branson in 2004, the company has sent crew into space four times and plans two more test flights from New Mexico before launching customers next year.