Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and a team of three others completed a successful rocket launch into space Tuesday morning. The launch of the rocket New Shepard, named after Alan Shepard the first American in space, shot Bezos and his brother, Mark Bezos, along with Wally Funk, an 82-year-old female space pioneer, and 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen, into the sky at 9:12 a.m. eastern time from a West Texas launch site. The ride, which lasted just over 10 minutes and 20 seconds, was the first attempt by Bezos’ company Blue Origin to carry a manned vessel into space.
After the vertical launch, the booster and capsule carrying the four passengers travelled at speeds up to 2,000 miles an hour as it travelled towards the Karman Line, the 62-mile boundary widely recognized as the boundary of space. Once the booster burned through all of its liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant roughly two minutes or 47 miles into the journey, the capsule detached from the booster. Both portions of the rocket continued separately into the very beginnings of outer space before descending.
Bezos and the other passengers were able to unbuckle and experience four minutes of weightlessness, before the capsule returned to earth landing via parachute several minutes behind the booster, which also landed safely and intact.