After landing from his almost 10-minute flight to the edge of space, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos thanked the people who he said help him do it. And this includes all those people out there who have shopped on Amazon. “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer. Because you guys paid for all this,” Bezos said. He added that he finances the rocket company by selling $1 billion in Amazon stock each year. Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, and his rocket company Blue Origin eight years later in the year 2002.

The former Amazon CEO blasted into space July 20 on Blue Origin’s first flight. The day was chosen specially by Bezos as it marked the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Bezos’ New Shepard rocket is also named after America’s first astronaut.

Going to space had reportedly been a dream for Bezos since his high school days. “Best day ever!” Bezos said when the capsule touched down on the desert floor in remote West Texas. He was accompanied by a hand-picked group, which included his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas.

Bezos has become the second billionaire to ride his own spacecraft after Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson pushed up his own flight from New Mexico earlier this month.

During Tuesday’s (July 20) flight, Blue Origin’s capsule reached an altitude of about 66 miles (106 kilometres), more than 10 miles (16 kilometres) higher than Branson’s July 11 ride. The 60-foot (18-meter) booster accelerated to Mach 3 or three times the speed of sound to get the capsule high enough, before separating and landing upright.

Unlike Branson’s piloted rocket plane, Bezos’ capsule was completely automated and required no official staff on board for the up-and-down flight.
(With agencies inputs)

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