Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos has landed safely back on Earth following the inaugural space flight aboard his company Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
The world’s richest person and three crewmates were launched to the edge of space on a voyage that lasted roughly 10 minutes and 20 seconds.
They blasted off from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One facility around 20 miles outside the rural town of Van Horn in Texas.
The flight came nine days after rival Sir Richard Branson completed a suborbital flight with Virgin Galactic as the two tycoons race to roll out space tourism.
While Branson was the first to reach space, Bezos flew higher — 66 miles for Blue Origin compared to 53 miles for Virgin Galactic — in what has been described as the world’s first unpiloted space flight with an all-civilian crew.
Bezos was joined by his brother Mark, as well as famous female aviator Wally Funk and recent high school graduate Oliver Daemen.
Funk and Daemen have become the oldest and youngest people to reach space respectively.
“I am excited, but not anxious. We’ll see how I feel when I’m strapped into my seat,” Bezos said in an interview with Fox Business Network prior to the flight.
“We’re ready. The vehicle’s ready. This team is amazing. I feel very good about it. And I think my fellow crewmates feel good about it, too.”