1994年，Jeff Bezos和他的那个妻子Mackenzie从纽约市开车到西雅图，所以他可以开始一家新公司在互联网上销售书籍。假设正常的高速公路速度，他们将在2,500英里的旅程中每小时拉链65英里标记。今天，由他从那家大量公司制成的数十亿美元资助的，Jeff Bezos在他的生命中旅行了最重要的65英里：直接到了空间的门口。他花了一点三分钟来实现这一高度。他是新谢泼德的第一位乘客，由他的公司建造的副岩体火箭系统，蓝色起源。
加入Bezos - 以前前往太空的580人的行列是他的兄弟标记，53，志愿者消防员和慈善家，现在运营股权基金;玛丽华莱士“Wally”Funk，这是一个82岁的航空先锋，被拒绝成为一个汞宇航员的机会，因为她是一个女人;和奥利弗·迪文，这是一个18岁的学生，其中百万的学生赢得了他成为蓝色首次支付客户的区别。 （他实际上是一个减产;原本赢得拍卖的未知人，由于“调度困难”，所以竞争推迟了他们的斗争。
贝佐斯和他的船员的亚源性Jaunts标志着人类航天俱乐部的长期进入蓝色起源，这是2000年的贝奥斯创立的蓝色起源。（相比之下，美国营业的太空计划于1957年在推出其Sputnik卫星之后发起的只有12年才能到达月球。）但是审议是建成了蓝色的“Modus Operandi”：公司的座右铭是“Gradatim Ferociter”，拉丁语“一步一步依然是”。它的吉祥物是乌龟。
当时，Space Billy ily ily Richard Branson尚未宣布，他将于7月11日骑自行车的火箭船。（仓促决定在Bezos飞行前滑动 - 圣母银河的创始人以前宣布他今年晚些时候会在测试航班上旅行。）
无论原因如何，Bezos的公告令人惊讶。 Blue Oulial Ceo Bob Smith在预检前辩护了该计划，称这两个最新的测试航班证明所有系统都准备就绪，因为控制航天器的一切都自主运行，因此不需要人类的实践。 “我们没有看到任何价值，非常诚实地，从逐步做事，”他说，直接跳到公司座右铭的凶猛部分。所以不会有人类的测试飞行，而是一个高赌注少女航行与老板，他的兄弟，八十岁和少年。
在7:25中央日光时间，乘客攀登了五个步骤飞行，缩放了160英尺新的谢泼德可重复使用火箭的高度，在防火“宇航员安全庇护所”中短暂暂停，一个紧密封闭的防火可以在紧急疏散时使用的房间。然后Bezos带领船员穿过斯皮布里奇 - 每次敲打银色仪式铃声，因为它们越过胶囊，它依靠新的谢泼德，好吧，性玩具。 7:34，他们进入了舱口，并扣上了自己。Funk把自己的明信片贴在她的窗户上的一个候选人，计划拍摄一张空间时拍摄它的照片。在7:43，蓝色原产人员关闭了舱口，从龙门爬下来爬下来。它是t-minus 21分钟。
前两个亚坏NASA推出-60年前 - 涉及大量的检查仪表和翻转开关。 Bezos和他的船员没有任何担心：新的Shepard是完全驱动的。他们可以观看大型窗户的个人观察屏幕的倒计时，专为地球和空间而设计的豪华景观。
有一些可能的下雨的报道，但这一天令人惊叹明确。倒计时仅在15分钟内略微持有;然后重新启动计数。系统通过了最后两分钟的检查，所有通过自动序列完成，然后从任务控制的语音开始倒计时：“10,9,8,7,6 ...命令引擎开始，2 1.”
当胶囊轻轻地开始旅程时，新的谢泼德火箭已经开始了地球。 Sonic Boom宣布火箭的回归，并且在一阵火灾中，它安全地在其垫上落地。不久，三个红色，白色和蓝色降落伞部署在胶囊上方。 “你在这里有一个非常高兴的船员，我想让你知道，”贝佐斯告诉控制室。
Blue Origin的康复团队通过沙漠赛跑了他们的SUV，快速地走了最后几码来搭扣舱口。然后，一个接一个，加禧船员出现了，呐喊和霍布。这些空间极客基本上赢得了超级碗。他们的家人在那里迎接他们，以及Bezos'女友劳伦·桑切斯。 Mark Bezos首先出现，那么越来越越来越肮脏，举行她的武器在胜利的迹象。显然，她还没有回到地球。最后，杰夫·贝佐斯走了出来。
也许最欣喜若狂的船员是肮脏的，他是汞13，这是一群接受1960年宇航员培训的一群女性，但由于他们的性行为被政府拒绝。今天，她终于实现了终身目标。 Blue Origin的第一个支付客户，奥利弗·迪文也是如此，尽管他的生命迄今为止只跨越18年。他有七年的时间去比赛最年轻的空间旅行者的上一纪录持有人的年龄：苏联宇航员Ghermon Tirov。当越来越进入乌得勒支大学的秋天，他将为新生的构成提供完美的话题，就他夏天如何花费。
他会努力工作。蓝色来源有两个计划今年更多的太空旅游航班。在作品中是多个世代的太空车辆 - 强大的火箭，可以在轨道，月亮兰德和超越轨道上提高巨大的有效载荷。他正在打击美国宇航局，使其重新考虑该机构授予他对竞争对手，伊隆麝香的航天筹码的多亿美元的月亮兰德兰。
In 1994, Jeff Bezos and his then-wife, MacKenzie, drove from New York City to Seattle so he could start a new company to sell books on the internet. Assuming a normal highway speed, they would have zipped past 65 mile markers every hour during their 2,500-mile journey. Today, funded by the billions of dollars he made from that much-expanded company, Jeff Bezos traveled the most important 65 miles in his life: straight up, to the doorstep of space. It took him a little over three minutes to achieve that altitude. He was the first passenger on New Shepard, the suborbital rocket system built by his company, Blue Origin.
Joining Bezos—and the ranks of the 580 people who have previously traveled to space—were his brother Mark, 53, a volunteer fireman and philanthropist who now runs an equity fund; Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer who was denied a chance to become a Mercury astronaut because she was a woman; and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old student whose bid of millions won him the distinction of becoming Blue’s first paying customer. (He actually was an underbidder; the unknown person who originally won the auction with a $28 million bid postponed their fight due to “scheduling difficulties.”) The latter two are now the oldest and youngest humans to sample space travel.
Lasting only 10 minutes and 10 seconds, the flight seemed flawless, from launch to touchdown. It began with a show of confidence, the crew bubbling with enthusiasm as they prepared, and ended in a jubilant celebration of the newly minted astronauts as they reunited with their loved ones after their brief time away.
This suborbital jaunt by Bezos and his crewmates marks a long-overdue entry into the human spaceflight club for Blue Origin, which Bezos founded in 2000. (In contrast, the US crewed space program, initiated after Russia launched its Sputnik satellite in 1957, took only 12 years to get to the moon.) But deliberation was built into Blue Origin’ modus operandi: The company’s motto is “Gradatim Ferociter,” Latin for “step by step ferociously.” Its mascot is a tortoise.
But something happened this year that led Blue Origin to perhaps skip a step or two. It had been widely assumed that the seats in Blue’s first human flight would be filled by its own employees, including at least one of several astronauts on the payroll. But after 15 painstaking test flights, and numerous revisions to the estimated timeline for when New Shepard would carry humans, suddenly Bezos announced that he would be joining others for a flight on July 20—the anniversary of the first moon landing. Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence that earlier this month he stepped down as Amazon’s CEO.
At the time, fellow space billionaire Richard Branson hadn’t yet announced that he would ride in his own company’s rocket ship on July 11. (That hasty decision was made to slide in before Bezos’ flight—the Virgin Galactic founder had previously announced he would travel on a test flight later this year.)
Whatever the reasons, Bezos’ announcement was surprising. Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith defended the plan in a preflight briefing, saying that the two most recent test flights proved that all systems were ready, and since everything controlling the spacecraft runs autonomously, there was no need for human practice. “We didn’t see any value, quite honestly, from doing things stepwise,” he said, skipping straight to the ferocious part of the company’s motto. So there would be no human test flight, but a high-stakes maiden voyage with the boss, his brother, an octogenarian, and a teenager.
In the run-up to the flight, the normally press-shy company suddenly turned showbiz, releasing glossy videos and photos of the crew decked out in their bright blue jumpsuits. Original plans to accommodate a modest press contingent got jettisoned like a booster rocket, as the company invited dozens of reporters to its remote location in the West Texas desert, where Bezos owns over 300,000 acres and a mountain range.
At 7:25 Central Daylight Time, on the company’s launch pad, the passengers climbed five flights of steps, scaling the height of the 160-foot New Shepard reusable rocket, pausing briefly inside an fireproof “astronaut safety shelter,” a tightly enclosed fireproof room that can be used in the event of an emergency evacuation. Then Bezos led the crew across a skybridge—each ringing a silver ceremonial bell as they crossed—to the capsule, which rests on New Shepard like, well, a sex toy. At 7:34, they entered the hatch and buckled themselves in. Funk stuck a postcard of herself as a Mercury 13 candidate to her window, with plans to shoot a picture of it when she reached space. At 7:43, Blue Origin technicians closed the hatch and climbed down from the gantry. It was T-minus 21 minutes.
The two previous suborbital NASA launches—60 years ago—involved a lot of checking gauges and flipping switches. Bezos and his crew didn’t have any of that to worry about: New Shepard is completely AI-driven. They could watch the countdown from personal viewing screens on the sides of the large windows designed for a luxury view of the Earth and space.
There had been some reports of possible rain, but the day was stunning and clear. The countdown proceeded with only a slight hold at 15 minutes; then the count restarted. The system passed through a final two minutes of checks, all done by an auto sequence, and then a voice from mission control began the countdown: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6 … command engines start, 2 1.”
At 8:12 am, steam poured out of the bottom of the booster for a couple of seconds. “We have lift-off,” said the voice from the small mission control room on the base. Then the rocket jumped like a dart, sailing upwards until all that was left to see was a fuzzy contrail, a donut signifying the temporary hole in the sky that New Shepard had slipped through.
About three minutes later, the capsule, RSS First Step, separated from the rocket and pushed past the Earth’s atmosphere. This was it: The crew was weightless. They were space travelers. While the live feed didn’t give the thousands of online viewers real-time video, you could make out some of the audio that captured the joyous exclamations as the crew unbuckled and floated.
“Look out the window!”
The New Shepard rocket had already begun its descent to Earth when the capsule gently began the journey home. A sonic boom announced the rocket's return, and in a burst of fire it landed safely on its pad. Not long after, three red, white, and blue parachutes deployed above the capsule. “You have a very happy crew up here, I want you to know,” Bezos told the control room.
The capsule, having slowed to a mere mile or two per hour, flopped on the desert floor, unleashing a wide puff of smoke. The whole trip had gone by in a flash, a space voyager’s Quibi.
Blue Origin's recovery team raced their SUVs through the desert, fast-walking the last few yards to snap the hatch. And then, one by one, the jubilant crew emerged, whooping and hollering. These space geeks had, essentially, won a Super Bowl. Their families were there to greet them, as well as Bezos’ girlfriend Lauren Sanchez. Mark Bezos emerged first, then Daemen, then Funk, who held her arms aloft in the victory sign. Clearly, she had yet to return to Earth. Finally, Jeff Bezos stepped out.
Perhaps the most ecstatic crew member was Funk, who had been one of the Mercury 13, a group of women who underwent astronaut training in 1960 but were rejected by the government because of their sex. Today, she finally achieved her life-long goal. The same goes for Blue Origin’s first paying customer, Oliver Daemen, though his life has so far spanned only 18 years. He has seven years to go to match the age of the previous record-holder of the youngest space traveler: Soviet cosmonaut Ghermon Tirov. When Daemen enters the University of Utrecht this fall, he will have the perfect topic for a freshman composition on how he spent his summer.
But as is expected of the world’s richest man, the day belonged to Jeff Bezos.
“Even as a teenager, I had an increasing conviction that [space] was important, not just a fun thing to do but actually important,” he told me in 2018. “And with every passing year I have even more conviction that this is the most important thing I'm working on.”
And work on it he will. Blue Origin has two more space tourism flights planned this year. In the works are multiple generations of space vehicles—powerful rockets to boost huge payloads in orbit, moon landers, and beyond. He’s fighting NASA to make it reconsider a multibillion-dollar moon lander contract that the agency granted to his rival, Elon Musk’s SpaceX.