21 July 2021 Industry News

Blue Origin launches four commercial astronauts to space and back

A screenshot captured from the live feed of the first crewed launch on Blue Origin's suborbital vehicle New Shepard.
A screenshot captured from the live feed of the first crewed launch on Blue Origin's suborbital vehicle New Shepard.

Blue Origin successfully completed New Shepard’s first human flight today with four private citizens onboard. The crew included Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, who all officially became astronauts when they passed the Kármán Line, the internationally recognised boundary of space.

Upon landing, the astronauts were greeted by their families and Blue Origin’s ground operations team for a celebration in the West Texas desert.

"Oh my god!" Bezos said during a post-flight press conference on the day. "My expectations were high, and they were dramatically exceeded."

Funk said that she "loved every minute of it," even though there wasn't quite enough room in New Shepard for all four of the passengers to do rolls and flips simultaneously. "It was great," she said. "I loved it. I can hardly wait to go again."

A Historic Mission

  • Wally Funk, 82, became the oldest person to fly in space.
  • Oliver Daemen, 18, was the first ever commercial astronaut to purchase a ticket and fly to space on a privately-funded and licensed space vehicle from a private launch site. He also became the youngest person to fly in space.
  • New Shepard became the first commercial vehicle under a suborbital reusable launch vehicle license to fly paying customers, both payloads and astronauts, to space and back.
  • Jeff and Mark Bezos became the first siblings to ever fly in space together.

“Today was a monumental day for Blue Origin and human spaceflight,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin. “I am so incredibly proud of Team Blue, their professionalism, and expertise in executing today’s flight. This was a big step forward for us and is only the beginning.”

Blue Origin expects to fly two more crewed flights this year, with many more crewed flights planned for 2022.

If you are interested in securing your own window seat on a future New Shepard launch, sign up for updates on BlueOrigin.com.

Popular articles

Popular articles

Specials

Russia and China – a new space axis

Astroscale launched its ELSA-d mission in March 2021. ELSA-d consists of two satellites stacked together - a servicer designed to safely remove debris from orbit and a client satellite that serves as a piece of replica debris. Astronautics

Developing an in-orbit servicing and manufacturing economy