The mission comes just a few days after Virgin Galatic opened the space “gates” to commercial space flights. Blue Origin’s crew was taken on a two-mile trip (3 km) in a Rivian truck to Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas.
Shortly after arrival, the astronauts have climbed the tower and prepared to enter into the NewShepard crew capsule. After ringing the ceremonial bell, the four passengers were ready to go on the historic flight.
The rocket took off at 9 a.m. EDT. Not even a minute in, New Shepard has reached Max-Q, and astronauts experienced a real rocket ride to space. The flight lasts approximately 11 minutes in total, from launch, entry, and capsule landing.
Astronauts will experience about three to four minutes of zero-G and travel above the Kármán Line, the internationally recognized boundary of space, which is located 62 miles (100 km) high up.
This flight will be a little bit higher up than the one of Virgin Galactic, which, on July 11th, has reached 50 miles (80 kilometers) high.
For Wally Funk, this is a dream come true as she was supposed to go to space 60 years ago with NASA’s “Mercury 13” program, but she never got the chance. Now, she has finally flew past our skies.
At 9:22 a.m. EDT, the capsule safely touched down. Blue Origin’s recovery team is headed out to meet Jeff, Mark, Wally, and Oliver and take them back with the Rivians for a celebration to mark their return from space. The company has set two more passenger flights this year, with more planned for next year.
You can watch the historic flight on the company’s official channel. Live coverage was hosted by Ariane Cornell, Head of Astronaut Strategy and Sales at Blue Origin, and Gary Lai, Blue Shepard’s Architect.