Blue Origin completes first human flight

Bezos announces winners of newly founded Courage and Civility Awards

Propelled by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, billionaire Jeff Bezos and the other members of the Blue Origin crew entered space Tuesday during a 10-minute flight from outside of Van Horn.

This was the latest venture to the edge of space as part of Blue Origin’s New Shepard flight.

Bezos entered space with his brother Mark along with the oldest and youngest persons to complete the trip. The oldest being 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk, while the youngest being 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen.

The elapsed mission time, according to Blue Origin, was 10 minutes and 10 seconds that began at 8:12 a.m. and it became the first autonomous flight to space.

“My expectations were high and they were dramatically exceeded,” Jeff Bezos said during the press conference after the New Shepard flight.

A tweet from Blue Origin detailed the max ascent velocity was 2,233 mph.

The Associated Press detailed that Blue Origin reached an altitude of about 66 miles, which was more than 10 miles higher than Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic’s July 11 ride. The 60-foot booster accelerated to Mach 3 or three times the speed of sound to get the capsule high enough, before separating and landing upright.

Bezos said during the press conference that Blue Origin will have two more human flights this year. He said he doesn’t know the timeline after that. Bezos explained that the expected mission life for vehicles, like New Shepard, is between 25 and 100 flights.

“We would like to make that closer to 100 than to 25,” Bezos said. “Once it is close to 100, we will push it past 100. That’s how we get operation use.”

Bezos was also asked about how to bring the cost down to make flying in space more accessible for people around the world.

“We’ve got to do it the same way we did it with commercial airline travel,” Bezos explained.

In addition to the flight, Bezos spent the final part of the press conference honoring the first two receipts of his Courage and Civility Award winners. The first was political contributor Van Jones and the other was chef and humanitarian José Andrés.

Each person will receive $100 million to spend on charities or non-profit organizations of their choosing.

“Sometimes dreams come true,” Jones said during the press conference. “Sometimes dreams come true. The headlines around the world should be ‘Anything is possible if you believe.’”

Andres said during the press conference: “Whether you are on the ground or on top of the world, it’s obvious that we the people, we are one people. One planet sharing our daily bread together.”