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Watch the Moment the World’s Richest Man Went to Space

It really is Jeff Bezos’ world, we’re just living in it. The Amazon founder and current world’s richest man has successfully completed his inaugural trip to space, on-board his suborbital Blue Origin rocket. While he may have been pipped to the post by fellow billionaire space-cowboy Sir Richard Branson, that didn’t quash the Beez’s enthusiasm for the journey.

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Image: Blue Origin

Timed to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the first moon landing, Mission NS-16 New Shepard launched from its west Texas base at 8:12am on Tuesday local time (11:12pm AEST). Hitting speeds of 3700km/h as it hurtled towards space, the capsule separated from its booster and crossed the Karman line, the internationally recognised boundary between Earth and space, at 100km of altitude. Just 11 minutes after takeoff, Jeff Bezos and the Blue Origin shuttle were back on solid ground.

While the Amazon founder may not have taken first place in the billionaire space race, the Blue Origin mission did have some stark differences to Virgin Galactic’s journey. Most notably, Mission NS-16 New Shepard was fully autonomous and required no human interaction, meaning Bezos and his crew were totally at the mercy of the technology.

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Image: Blue Origin

As a result, Bezos was able to man the ship with a far more electric crew, taking on-board his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviation icon Wally Funk and 18-year-old high school grad Oliver Daemen. The young explorer’s father Joes Daemen, CEO of a private equity firm in the Netherlands, was initially planned to go after winning a bid, reportedly worth a whopping USD$28 million but elected for his son to go in his place.

For all of the crew on-board, the successful Blue Origin space mission was a momentous occasion, but for Funk, it was the confirmation of a lifelong dedication. In a cruel twist of irony, the barrier-breaking female pilot completed testing in the 1960s as part of the Women in Space Program, but was stopped from going to space by her gender.

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Image: Blue Origin

After successfully completing the 11 minute journey to the edge of space, the Blue Origin shuttle floated safely back to earth. Upon departing, Jeffrey Ashby, a former space shuttle commander who now works as Blue Origin’s chief of mission assurance, presented each crew member with their “wings” – a badge signifying their visit to space. Ashby then described Funk, Daemen and the Bezos brothers as “the first four of millions to follow”.

With Bezos’ first official manned flight a raging success, the race for space exploration is heating up, but don’t expect a cheap seat any time soon. With the inaugural flight reportedly costing Daemen a cool USD$28 million, it might be a while before we see commercial flights take hold. Nevertheless, two out of three space billionaires success ain’t bad. Your move Elon.

Jeff bezos space

Image: Blue Origin

You’ll also like:
Watch the Moment Sir Richard Branson Won the Billionaire Space Race
Would You Pay $2.8 Million for a Place on Jeff Bezos’ Spaceship?
First Look at the Insane Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine Spaceship

General FAQs

How much is Jeff Bezos worth?

According to the latest figures from Forbes, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is worth an estimated USD$205 billion.

How much did the Blue Origin launch cost?

The successful Blue Origin launch cost a reported USD$100 million. According to reports, Oliver Daemen, son of private equity firm CEO Joes Daemen paid a whopping USD$28 million for a seat on the shuttle.

About the author

About the author
DIGITAL EDITOR

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the Digital Editor of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T's Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specialises in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men's stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.