Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin crew reach space and return safely

Billionaire Jeff Bezos has reached the edge of space on Blue Origin’s first human flight.

The Amazon founder blasted off in the sub-orbital New Shepard rocket from Texas on Tuesday, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Minutes later he emerged safely from the capsule after it landed softly on the ground, slowed down by three huge parachutes.

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(PA Graphics)

He took off with his brother Mark, female astronaut Wally Funk, 82, who trained in 1961 but never went to space, and the company’s first customer, Dutch 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.

Ms Funk and Mr Daemen are the oldest and youngest people to fly into space respectively.

She took on board a postcard of herself standing in front of the American flag, having promised to take a picture with it and Earth in the background.

The flight lasted around 11 minutes from launch to capsule landing.

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Astronauts experienced three to four minutes of zero gravity and travelled above the Karman Line, which is considered to be the boundary of space.

After the launch the crew could be heard cheering and shouting “woohoo”.

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

Shortly after the soft landing, a voice that appeared to be Jeff Bezos could be heard saying: “Best day ever.”

Asked by mission control how he was, his brother Mark said: “I am unbelievably good.”

Jeff Bezos hugged his parents Jackie and Mike as he exited the cabin, and the four adventurers were greeted with cheers and champagne from family and friends.

Wally Funk trained as an astronaut but never went into space
Wally Funk trained as an astronaut but never went into space (Blue Origin/PA)

Ms Funk thanked the Amazon founder for inviting her aboard New Shepard.

The mission came days after Sir Richard Branson flew into space on Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin aimed to reach an altitude of roughly 66 miles, more than 10 miles higher than Sir Richard’s ride on July 11.

Blue Origin, founded by Mr Bezos – estimated by Forbes to be the world’s richest man – is planning two more flights before the end of the year.