Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ firm, successfully launched six travellers into space for a 10-minute ride on Saturday, marking the company’s fifth crewed flight. New Shepard, a white spaceship, took off with a roar from a desert area in west Texas at 8:26 a.m. local time (1326 GMT). According to a Blue Origin webcast, the crew was ecstatic when the rocket entered orbit.
Engineer Katya Echazarreta, who was 26 at the time, became the youngest American woman in space. She was also the first Mexican woman to journey into space, having been born in Guadalajara. Her spot was funded by Space for Humanity, an initiative that aims to democratise space access, and she was chosen from a pool of 7,000 applicants.
The crew also featured businesspeople Hamish Harding, Jaison Robinson, Victor Vescovo, and Evan Dick, as well as the first Brazilian to journey into space, Victor Correa Hespanha. In December, Dick took part in New Shepard’s third crewed flight. The cost of a ticket is a closely kept secret.
The crew’s gumdrop-shaped capsule separated from the rocket once it had taken them to the stars. The rocket booster then descended vertically, emitting a sonic boom at one point, before landing to be reused.
The capsule continued to rise until it reached an altitude of around 100 km (60 miles), where it exceeded the so-called Karman line, which is regarded the border between Earth’s atmosphere and space by international convention.
The crew felt weightless for a few minutes at that altitude and could see Earth’s curvature via large windows of New Shepard. The capsule then returned to Earth, with three massive parachutes and retro engines assisting in a soft landing that kicked up a large cloud of dust.
This trip was supposed to take place on May 20; however, it was postponed due to a malfunction with one of the spacecraft’s backup systems. Blue Origin did not elaborate on the issue. Blue Origin is a pioneer in the burgeoning space travel industry.
It carried Bezos on its first crewed mission in July 2021, as well as William Shatner of Star Trek and Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of the first American in space. Virgin Galactic is Blue Origin’s main competitor in this area. The spaceship, however, has remained on the ground since its inaugural journey in July, carrying its inventor, business mogul Richard Branson.