In photos: Jeff Bezos' historic flight to space
Updated 12:20 PM ET, Wed July 21, 2021
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the world's richest man, launched himself Tuesday on a supersonic joyride to the edge of space.
The trip marked the first-ever crewed flight of his company Blue Origin's suborbital space tourism rocket, New Shepard. The crew also included Bezos' brother, Mark; Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pilot and one of the "Mercury 13" women; and an 18-year old recent high school graduate named Oliver Daemen, who is Blue Origin's first paying customer. Daemen is now the youngest person to ever fly to space, while Funk is the oldest.
Earlier this month, Richard Branson became the first person to ride into space aboard a rocket he helped fund, beating Bezos by nine days.
Since the early 2000s, Branson and Bezos have been vying to develop, test and launch suborbital rockets that can take wealthy thrill-seekers on brief rides a few dozen miles above Earth. Their efforts have long been framed as a "billionaire space race."