In what can only be described as the thrill of a lifetime, Jeff Bezos, his brother, (18-year-old) Oliver Daemen, and (82-year-old) Wally Funk went ballistic this morning sitting atop New Shepard: a small, suborbital rocket built by Bezos’s Blue Origin company. The 11-minute trip took the space tourists over the Karmen line and included spectacular views of both the curvature of the earth and the blackness of space.
This rocket traveled about three times the speed of sound (2,300 mph). That’s enough speed to get a payload up, but not near enough to put it into orbit. For that, you need to travel at approximately 17,000 mph. Nonetheless, this is awesome!
I know many of you will tell me that this is just a couple of billionaires playing “my rocket is bigger than yours.” Sure. It’s some of that. But still: there are so many space “firsts” associated with this and the Branson flight.
I’m sure Musk fans are rolling their eyes. SpaceX has done all kinds of amazing things over the past few years, but let’s keep our eye on the prize. Each mission is increasing the body of knowledge for future space travelers. Taken together, these are all baby steps into a larger universe.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.