Update: Blue Origin’s first manned mission to space was a success. The New Shepard rocket carried company founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, Mercury 13 pioneer Wally Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemon passed the Kármán Line, the internationally-recognized frontier marking the beginning of “outer space.”
Jeff Bezos rode a pillar of fire to outer space this week and you can rewatch Blue Origin’s broadcast of its first manned flight, as it happened on July 20. Bezos was accompanied by three other passengers: his brother, Mark Bezos; pioneering Mercury 13 pilot, Wally Funk; and 18-year-old Oliver Daemon, who was a last-minute replacement for an unnamed customer who purchased a $28 million ticket aboard the rocket, but had a scheduling conflict at the last minute.
The historic flight saw both the oldest (Funk, at 82-years-old) and the youngest (Daemon) persons to ever fly into space. The flight took off slightly after 9am EDT, Tuesday July 20, and was broadcast live on Blue Origin’s website.
In addition to Blue Origin’s website broadcast, the company provided live mission updates via Twitter at @BlueOrigin. There will be a live press conference with the astronauts following the launch. You can also see the whole replay, including about an hour and 40 minutes of pre-flight material, on YouTube.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket has now made 16 successful launches and landings after passing the so-called Kármán Line, the internationally-recognized frontier 62 miles above the earth’s surface that marks the beginning of “space,” so we expected the trip to be smooth, as it was.
Rocket science is as daunting as its name suggests, so getting Bezos and crew into space wasn’t as easy as it looked. An enormous amount of work went into this first successful crewed flighted for the company, one of many to come, no doubt.