Blue Origin rocket touch down after historic spaceflight

Blue Origin made history when four passengers, including Jeff Bezos, lifted off and made it to space aboard New Shepard. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin rocket crew realized dreams and made history Tuesday, blasting off from the West Texas desert, reaching space and returning to Earth with a smooth parachute landing minutes later.

On Tuesday (July 20), Bezos and three other passengers — pioneering female aviator Wally Funk, age 82; Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old Dutch physics student; and Bezos' younger brother Mark — launched in the New Shepard rocket at 9:12 a.m. EDT from Blue Origin's Launch Site One in West Texas, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of the town Van Horn. 

The flight went farther than any commercial spaceflight has ever gone before, with the passenger capsule crossing the Kármán line (the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space, about 62 miles, or 100 kilometers, above sea level) at 9:16 a.m. EDT. Once the capsule reached the peak of its ascent, the crew experienced weightlessness for several minutes, before beginning their descent back to Earth and touching down at 9:22 a.m. EDT.

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