Jeff Bezos has landed safely back on Earth with his crew after fulfilling his childhood dream to travel to space.
The billionaire businessman and founder of Amazon and private spaceflight company Blue Origin blasted into space on Tuesday (20Jul21) in the first crewed flight of spacecraft New Shepard.
Bezos was joined in the mission by his younger brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen,18, and and 82-year-old female aerospace pioneer Wally Funk, the youngest and oldest person to travel to space, respectively.
According to the BBC, the spacecraft lifted off at 09:12 EDT from a private launch site near Van Horn, Texas.
Once they reached the atmosphere above Earth, Bezos and his fellow astronauts had a reported four minutes to leave their seats, to float around the cabin and take in the views.They parachuted back down to the West Texas desert 11 minutes later.
After the capsule touched down, Bezos said: "Astronaut Bezos (his callsign): Best day ever!"
The four space voyagers became the first people to lift off aboard the New Shepard rocket built by the entrepreneur's private spaceflight company Blue Origin.
Funk was a member of a group of women called the Mercury 13. They underwent the same screening tests as male astronauts, but never got to fly into space.
Teenager Daemen, who was Blue Origin's first paying passenger, replaced an anonymous person who had bid $28 million for a seat on the flight but later deferred their place "due to scheduling conflicts", despite being aware of the flight's scheduled date before making their bid.