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Blue Origin carries Jeff Bezos into space in its first human passenger flight

“Who wants a Skittle?" someone asked in the capsule as they floated in space

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Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has travelled into space and back in the first human flight of his space tourism company Blue Origin.

Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard space rocket carried the billionaire, his younger brother Mark and two others 351,000 feet (66.5 miles or 107 km) above the surface of the Earth.

Just before reaching its apogee, the capsule disconnected from the rocket booster and the Bezos brothers and fellow passengers 82-year-old Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen experienced around four minutes of weightlessness, or zero-gravity, before following the booster safely back down to Earth.

“Who wants a Skittle?" someone asked in the capsule as they floated in space, offering sweets around. It was not clear if this was a paid-for product placement. 

In the course of the spaceflight Funk became the oldest ever astronaut, while Daemen, whose own billionaire father paid for the ticket, became the youngest.

It is estimated that Bezos, who it is calculated pays less than his fair share of tax, has pumped more than US$7.5bn of his own US$200bn wealth into Blue Origin since it was founded in 2000. 

Meanwhile, MacKenzie Scott, Bezos' ex wife, has donated nearly US$9bn to charities such as food banks and educational institutions since the pair divorced in 2019. 

 

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