Whatever the reasons, Bezos’ announcement was a surprise. Defending the plan at a preflight briefing, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said the latest two test flights proved that all systems were ready, and that everything controlling the spacecraft operated autonomously, so there was no need for human studies. “By doing things in the direction of action, we honestly didn’t see any value,” he said, going straight to the monstrous part of the company’s motto. So there will be no human test flight, but a high-stakes journey for the boss, his brother, octopus and teenager.

In the run-up to the flight, the usually press-shy company suddenly became a showbiz, publishing glossy videos and photos of the crew immersed in their bright blue jumps. Original plans to accommodate a modest press team backfired like a booster rocket, as the company invited dozens of journalists to its remote location in the deserts of West Texas, where Bezos owns 300,000 acres and mountain ranges.

At 7:25 Central Daylight time, on the company’s launch pad, passengers climbed five flights of footpaths, scaling the height of a 160-foot New Shepard reusable rocket, using a fireproof “astronaut safety shelter” for a short time. Emergency migration can occur. Bezos then led the crew to a skybridge – ringing a silver monologue bell for each silver, heading to the capsule, which, like the New Shepard, endures like a sex toy. : 3: At 4 o’clock, they entered the hatch and penetrated themselves. Funk hung a postcard of hers as a Mercury 13 candidate in her window, planning to shoot a picture of her when she reaches space. At 7:43 a.m., Blue Origin’s technicians closed the hatch and climbed down the barrel. It was a 21-minute T-minus.

The previous two subrobitals were launched by NASA 60 years ago – with lots of checking gauges and flipping switches. Bezos and his crew had none of that to worry about: the new Shepard is entirely AI-based. They can see the countdown from the personal viewing screen on the sides of the huge windows designed for a luxury view of the earth and space.

There were some reports of possible rain, but the day was spectacular and clear. The countdown progressed with just a little grip of 15 minutes; Then the countdown resumed. The system went through the final two minute check, which is done by all the auto sequences, and then the sound countdown started by the mission control: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6 … command engines start, 2 1.”

At 8:12 a.m., the sticker poured from the bottom of the booster for a few seconds. “We have a liftoff,” came a voice from the small mission control room at the base. Then the rocket jumped like a dart, heading upwards until it was a faint contrail left to watch, a sweet showing a temporary hole in the sky that the New Shepard had slipped from there.

About three minutes later, a capsule called the RSS First Step detached from the rocket and crashed into the Earth’s atmosphere. This was it: the crew was weightless. They were astronauts. While the live feed didn’t give real-time video to thousands of viewline viewers, you were able to create some of the outs that captured the crew with exhilarating exclamations as they uncut and floated.

“Holy cow!”

“Good God!”

“Look out the window!”


The New Shepard rocket had just begun to land when the capsule gently began to travel home. A sonic boom announced the return of the rocket, and in an explosion of fire it landed safely on its pad. Shortly afterwards, three red, white and blue parachutes were deployed over the capsule. “You have a very happy crew here, I’ll let you know,” Bezos told the controlroom.