LIVE – Watch as Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin crew blast into space

LIVE - Watch as Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin crew prepare to blast into space
Jeff Bezos has launched aboard his company Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket (Picture: AP/Blue Origin)

Jeff Bezos has blasted off to the edge of space this afternoon in the first crewed flight of Blue Origin’s sub-orbital New Shepard rocket.

The billionaire Amazon founder, his brother Mark, 82-year-old female astronaut Wally Funk, and the company’s first customer, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, were seen boarding the cabin as final preparations took place.

Their spaceflight launched just after 2pm UK time and crewmates could be heard celebrating and cheering as they reached the edge of space as planned.

The booster that blasted the group of four into space before separating successfully landed back on Earth shortly after lift-off.

Shortly afterwards, the four safely landed back to earth.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Bezos said he was ‘ready’, not nervous, for the dramatic voyage.

Watch the crew’s flight on the live stream below:

In this photo provided by Blue Origin, from left to right: Mark Bezos, brother of Jeff Bezos; Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin; Oliver Daemen, of the Netherlands; and Wally Funk, aviation pioneer from Texas, pose for a photo. (Blue Origin via AP)
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is accompanied by his brother, Mark, female astronaut Wally Funk, and the company’s first customer, teenager Oliver Daemen (Picture: AP)
New Shepard First Human Flight
The trip is the 16th lift-off made by New Shepard, and its first to carry human passengers (Picture: Katy Clifton)
WEST TEXAS, TEXAS - Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos and his brother will join the winner of an auction for a seat on Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft. Blue Origin, Bezos' rocket company, is targeting July 20 for its first suborbital sightseeing trip on its spacecraft, a landmark moment in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel. The Amazon founder will fly on Tuesday from Texas with his brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, and former NASA trainee Wally Funk, 82. Funk, a pilot, was part of the 1960s Women in Space training scheme, until it was shut down during the Cold War.
The group of space tourists will be able to float around in their cabin for about four minutes (Picture: Blue Origin)

He told CNN: ‘I know it’s going to change me and I’m excited to find out how.’

The trip is the 16th lift-off made by New Shepard, and its first to carry human passengers.

The crew will fly to 350,000ft – more than 20km further than Sir Richard Branson’s recent successful Virgin Galactic voyage last week.

As well as an opportunity to take in breathtaking views of Earth, the group of space tourists will be able to get out of their seats and float around the cabin for about four minutes.

Ms Funk, who trained in 1961 but never went to space, is now set to become the oldest person to ever venture there. She told reporters she feels like she is 24, adding: ‘It’s great, I love being here.’

Speaking to CBS This Morning earlier on Monday, Mr Bezos said: ‘I’m not really nervous, I’m excited, I’m curious.

‘This vehicle’s ready, this crew’s ready, this team is amazing, we just feel really good about it.’

The trip has also been criticised on social media, with users saying the vast amounts of money could be put to better use here on Earth, such as tackling climate change or helping the world recover from the pandemic.

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