Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos has successfully completed an 11-minute 2,300 miles per hour excursion to the edge of space and back in the New Shepard rocket ship built by Blue Origin, an aerospace company he founded in 2000.
The New Shepard rocket lifted off with Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, 18-year old physics student Oliver Daemen and 82-year-old pioneering female aviator Wally Funk.
The trip comes just nine days after co-founder of Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson took his own supersonic joy ride to the edge of space along with two pilots and three other passengers in a show of exciting times for commercial space travel.
After Jeff Bezos and crew completed their space flight, Blue Origin, announced that it is open for ticket sales to space.
Those interested in flying on a future Blue Origin flight were asked to send the company an email — but they did not divulge how much a ticket will cost.
Unlike its chief competitor, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin has not sold tickets to the general public yet, nor has it said how much it will sell seats for.
Blue Origin and other billionaire-backed space companies put out a lot of talk about their technologies paving the way toward a “democratization” of space in which everyday people — not just government-trained astronauts — get to experience the thrill of spaceflight.
Currently, these early suborbital space tourism flights are prohibitively expensive to the vast majority of people, and that’s not expected to change anytime soon.
Blue Origin, however, described its long-term vision as one of spacefaring colonization and benevolence saying: “Our vision is to enable a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth. To preserve Earth, Blue Origin believes that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress Earth into space.”
“Blue Origin is working on this today by developing partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost, and serve the needs of all civil, commercial and defense customers,” concludes the statement.