Editor’s take: These historic flights have blazed a path for the era of space tourism and it’ll be interesting to see just how quickly the industry grows. As the process and the technology involved is further refined, pricing will no doubt come down, making the opportunity available to far more people. What an interesting time to be alive.
Add Blue Origin to the growing list of private space companies that have successfully taken passengers to space. The aerospace manufacturer and space tourism company on Tuesday completed its first crewed flight.
The jaunt, which spanned roughly 10 minutes from takeoff to touchdown, carted founder Jeff Bezos and his brother, as well as aviation pioneer Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen to space to experience the joys of weightlessness and catch a glimpse of our home planet in a way that few humans have.
Bezos and crew were expected to be among the first private citizens to visit space, but Virgin Galactic narrowly beat Blue Origin to the punch with its Unity 22 mission on July 11.
Still, Blue Origin set multiple records with its flight. Of the two, it was the only one to cross the Kármán line which many consider to be the true boundary between Earth and space (at 62 miles above sea level).
The flight also included both the youngest astronaut ever (Oliver Daemen at age 18) and the oldest (Wally Funk, age 82).