This Saturday's successful takeoff and landing was for a new space tourism flight. Six new space tourists were carried aboard the New Shepard rocket.
Blue Origin's capsule and passengers were propelled at 8.26 am (local time, 3.26 p.m. French) by a launcher. It detachment occurred after the mission was completed. The capsule landed on a runway so it could be reused. At 100 km above the ground, the capsule continued its journey. This is the international border of space. There passengers could experience weightlessness for a short time and observe the Earth's curvature through large portholes.
After a slow down by three large parachutes, the capsule began to free fall and fell back to Earth. The capsule landed gently on a large, dry, and sun-drenched West Texas plain after ten minutes.
Enjoy the video below to relive the flight (takeoff at 1h09).
Originally scheduled for May 20, the flight was delayed "as precaution" due to an anomaly on the rocket. The company didn't provide any further information on the matter.
The first Mexican-born woman to fly into space was aboard the flight. Katya Echazarreta was born in Guadalajara and immigrated to the United States at seven years old. She is now 26, and has become the youngest American to enter space. The "Space for Humanity” program sponsored this engineer. It aims to make space accessible more affordable and selected her from 7,000 applicants.
Also on the crew was Victor Correa Hespanha (second Brazilian in space), as well as Evan Dick, Jaison Robinson and Hamish Harding. He had made the trip on the third manned flight of New Shepard last December.
It is unknown what the cost of space tourism to board is.
Jeff Bezos was the pilot of the first New Shepard manned flight in July 2021. The machine has been used to transport William Shatner (the iconic Captain Kirk from Star Trek) and Laura Shepard Churchley (the daughter of the first American woman to fly into space), since then.
Virgin Galactic is Blue Origin's main rival for this suborbital flight. This vessel has been on the ground since the flight of Richard Branson, its founder, in July last year.