How did the first tourist flight in Bezos space go

How did the first tourist flight in Bezos space go

Success for Jeff Bezos' first tourist flight into space on Blue Origin on board the New Shepard

“The best day ever”. These are the first words of Jeff Bezos once he landed, after flying into space aboard the New Shepard spacecraft made by his company Blue Origin.

On July 20, after an eleven-minute flight in space, the New Shepard spacecraft returned to earth with the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, on board, along with his brother Mark and two other passengers, the youngest (the 18-year-old Dutch Oliver Daemen) and the oldest astronaut (82-year-old American Wally Funk).

A real success for the aerospace company Blue Origin, founded by Bezos in 2000.

But the founder of the Virgin group took care of beating Bezos on time. Richard Branson has already won the title of first "space tourist", aboard the SpaceShipTwo Unity, of his Virgin Galactic, in the flight of 11 July.

Elon Musk remains on the ground (for the moment), even if his SpaceX is in clear advantage in the field of the construction of satellites and space missions. All three invested billions of dollars in their respective startups, but Branson and Bezos were the first and second respectively to travel in a spacecraft developed by their own company.


The NS-16 mission marked Blue Origin's first to transport humans and kicked off commercial service for the company's space tourism business. As The Verge points out, Flying Bezos sent a signal to potential space tourists that the company's New Shepard suborbital rocket is safe to fly and open for business.

Prior to Tuesday's flight, Blue Origin had conducted 15 unmanned test launches of its New Shepard rocket.


In reality, the billionaire Bezos still beat Branson, who arrived first in space.

"Jeff Bezos with this mission could beat the British billionaire Richard Branson" because, "the Blue Origin mission" will cross the Kármán line and enter space, that is 100 kilometers above sea level while Branson "with his flight nine days ago “it reached 80 kilometers above the Earth”. To clarify this, interviewed by Adnkronos before the landing of New Shepard, is the Italian astronauata Umberto Guidoni, the first Italian and European to inhabit the International Space Station, author of two space missions, on February 22, 1996 with the Space Shuttle Columbia for the satellite on a leash Tss-1R, and the second in 2001 with the Endeavor for the flight of the first Italian module 'Raffaello' of the ISS.

"According to the international standard, the imaginary line placed at a height of 100 kilometers above sea level conventionally marks the boundary between the earth's atmosphere and outer space" while "by NASA standard this line is 80 kilometers from the earth. Thus, in the space race, Bezos with his mission aims to surpass Branson even if NASA is NASA and makes history ”, underlined Guidoni.


Within hours of Blue Origin's launch, SpaceX founder Elon Musk also wished his rival Jeff Bezos and his crew on Twitter. "Good luck tomorrow!", Tweeted the Tesla boss, relaunching a post from Blue Origin announcing the imminent departure. Best wishes, Musk himself underlined "after a couple of weeks of tension".


Today's flight represents a long-sought success for Blue Origin as it faces aggressive competition from other space companies such as Elon Musk's SpaceX. Blue Origin had launched New Glenn, its launch system under development in Florida, to the Air Force for a multi-billion dollar launch program, but lost to SpaceX and its other rival the United Launch Alliance. In April, NASA rejected Blue Moon, the human lunar lander proposed by Bezos' company.

However, in mid-April, NASA selected SpaceX's Starship spacecraft to land the Artemis astronauts on the moon for the first time since the last Apollo mission. Bezos' space company filed a lawsuit to protest NASA's decision to choose SpaceX.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Tue, 20 Jul 2021 14:24:30 +0000.