Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosDorsey's exit shakes up Twitter future The dangers of anarchy in space Health risks of space tourism: Is it responsible to send humans to Mars? MORE launched into space on Tuesday aboard a rocket and capsule that was developed by his spaceflight company, Blue Origin.
Bezos, the founder of Amazon and Blue Origin and richest person in the world, lifted off shortly after 9 a.m. ET from a site in the West Texas desert located southeast of El Paso.
The New Shepard capsule will travel to the edge of space, an altitude of roughly 66 miles, before turning around and descending under parachutes to land in the Texas desert, according to The Associated Press.
The voyage is expected to take an estimated 10 minutes. The capsule is fully automated and will not have any trained staff on board, the AP noted.
Traveling with Bezos was his brother, Mark; Wally Funk, 82, one of the 13 female pilots who completed the same testing in the 1960s as NASA’s Mercury astronauts but who did not become astronauts because of their gender; and Oliver Daemen, 18, an incoming college student from the Netherlands whose father secured the spot through the bidding process.
The winner of the charity auction who paid $28 million for the seat dropped out of the launch because of a scheduling conflict, leaving the ticket open for Daemen.
Funk and Daemen will make history as, respectively, the oldest and youngest people to ever launch into space.
The journey to the edge of space comes on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, when Americans Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969, according to Reuters.
Bezos on Monday said he was “curious about what tomorrow is actually going to bring,” and speculated what type of impact the trip to space would have on him.
“Everybody who's been to space says it changes them in some way. And I'm just really excited to figure out how it's going to change me,” he said.
The New Shepard flight comes after English business magnate Richard Branson launched into space on July 11 aboard a spaceplane created by his company, Virgin Galactic.
That spacecraft, carrying Branson and five other occupants, carried the group to the edge of space.
Bezos’s journey, however, is expected to venture roughly 10 miles higher than Branson’s mission.