By Katanga Johnson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company Blue Origin completed its fifth crewed launch on Saturday after a New Shepard rocket backup system that failed to meet expectations delayed the launch. trip last month.
Blue Origin’s fourth flight landed successfully in March in West Texas after taking six passengers on a 10-minute journey to the far reaches of space.
“It was an honor to pilot this special crew of explorers and true pioneers today,” said Phil Joyce, Senior Vice President of New Shepard.
“Each mission is an opportunity to give six others the life-changing experience of witnessing the beauty and fragility of our planet from space.”
The company’s suborbital ride lasts approximately 10 minutes from liftoff to touchdown and reaches an altitude of approximately 350,000 feet (106 km), providing passengers with a few moments of weightlessness before descending to Earth for a parachute landing. .
It’s part of an ongoing effort by a handful of companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson-founded Virgin Galactic, working to make space travel a reality.
So far, Axiom, SpaceX and NASA have touted these missions as a milestone in expanding privately funded space commerce, constituting what industry insiders call “the low-Earth orbit economy.” or “LEO economy” for short.
The International Space Station (ISS) has hosted several wealthy space tourists over the years.
Analysts applauded Saturday’s latest round of ambitious rocket-propelled expeditions funded by private investment capital and wealthy passengers rather than taxpayer money six decades into the dawn of the space age.
(Reporting by Katanga Johnson in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot)