© Reuters. Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of e-commerce company Amazon.com Inc, sits with the crew of a scheduled flight before boarding a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket near Van Horn, TX, USA, December 11, 2021. Blue Origin / Handout via REUTERS.
Written by Joe Skipper and Steve Gorman
VAN HORN, Texas (Reuters) – The eldest daughter of U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard took a spacewalk aboard a Jeff Bezos Blue Origin rocket on Saturday, 60 years after her late father’s famous NASA suborbital flight at the dawn of space. Omar.
Laura Shepherd Churchley, 74, who was a schoolgirl when her father first entered space, was one of six passengers strapped to the cabin of Blue Origin’s New Shepherd spacecraft as it took off from the launch site outside the western town of Van Horn. Texas.
The crew capsule was moved to the top of the six-story fully autonomous spacecraft and separated from the thruster rocket as it climbed to an altitude of about 350,000 feet (106 km) before falling back to Earth, descending under an arc of parachutes to the surface. Desert ground for safe landing.
The entire flight, from take-off to landing, took just over 10 minutes, with the crew experiencing a few minutes of weightlessness at the top of the suborbital flight.
The launch vehicle’s reusable rocket rocket returned to Earth and landed in an open brush field a short distance from the capsule’s landing site moments later.
Bezos arrived with members of the Blue Origin recovery team to greet and embrace the new astronauts as they emerged from the capsule, all smiling, in their blue suits. Then he attached the astronauts’ wings to their necklaces amid a flurry of applause and cheers.
As she chatted with Bezos, Churchley briefly recounted her wonder at seeing the blackness of space inside the capsule.
The sounds of Churchley and his teammates cheering excitedly during the flight can be heard in the capsule’s audio streams being streamed during a live webcast by Blue Origin as the car approaches its climax.
The spacecraft itself is named after Alan Shepard, who made history in 1961 as the second person and first American to travel into space – a 15-minute suborbital flight as the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts. A decade later, Shepherd walked on the moon as commander of the Apollo 14 mission, hitting two golf balls on the moon’s surface.
Churchley was one of two honorary and untrained passengers selected by Blue Origin for Saturday’s flight. The other is Michael Strahan, 50, a retired NFL star and co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
They are joined by four wealthy and lesser known clients who have paid undisclosed but supposedly huge sums for their seats in the New Shepard – Aerospace Industry CEO Dylan Taylor, and investor and engineer Evan Dick, venture capitalist. Lynn Pace and her 23-year-old son Cameron. Pace. The Besses made history as the first parent-child couple to fly into space together, according to Blue Origin.
Saturday’s flight was expected to reach a maximum altitude of about 65 miles — just above the internationally recognized limit for space as the Karman Line, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth.
The launch marks the third space tourism flight for Blue Origin, Bezos — founder and CEO of retail giant Amazon.com (NASDAQ 🙂) — formed two decades ago, and the company’s first with a crew of six.
No mention was made during the webcast of Blue Origin’s launch of the fatal partial collapse of the roof of an Amazon.com warehouse that was hit by a hurricane Friday night in Edwardsville, Illinois, nor the search for people trapped in the rubble.
Bezos himself accompanied the first flight of Blue Origin https://www.reuters.com/technology/jeff-bezos-worlds-richest-man-set-inaugural-space-voyage-2021-07-20 in July, joining her brother Mark Bezos, the pioneering pilot of the ’80s Wally Funk, and Oliver Dayman, 18, are a Dutch high school graduate who won a $28 million lottery.
Actor William Shatner, who personified the promise of space travel as Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise in the 1960s TV series “Star Trek,” has joined https://www.reuters.com/life/science/star-trek -Actor-Shatner-preps-blue-origin-space-short flight-2021-10-13 New Shepard’s second crew in October to become the oldest person in space at 90 years old.
British billionaire Richard Branson beat Bezos for nine days when he walked along https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/science/virgin-galactics-branson-ready-space-launch-aboard-rocket-plane-2021-07-11 On the first full flight of the crew of its space tourism company, Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc., it flew to the edge of space over New Mexico in a flying rocket launched by a high-altitude carrier.
A third player in the burgeoning space tourism industry, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, opened his SpaceX Citizen-Astronaut service in September with the launch of its first all-civilian crew https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/science/spacex – capsule with worlds first all civilian Orbiting the crew of a machine gun group 09-18-2021 to reach Earth’s orbit.
(Reporting by Joe Skipper in Van Horn, Texas and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis)