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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Launches Spacecraft Higher Than Ever

He’s named his rockets after NASA’s original Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth

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Blue-Origin
FILE - The lobby of space venture Blue Origin features a replica of the Earth, March 8, 2016, in Kent, Wash. On Wednesday, the company sent a capsule to an altitude of 74 miles. (VOA)

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket company shot a capsule higher into space Wednesday than it’s ever done before.

The New Shepard rocket blasted off from West Texas on the company’s latest test flight. Once the booster separated, the capsule’s escape motor fired, lifting the spacecraft to an altitude of 389,846 feet. That’s 74 miles or 119 kilometers.

It’s part of a safety system intended to save lives once space tourists and others climb aboard for suborbital hops.

Wednesday’s passenger was Mannequin Skywalker, an instrumented dummy in a blue flight suit that’s flown before, plus science experiments.

Jeff-Bezo
FILE – Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 5, 2017. (VOA)

The booster and capsule, both repeat fliers, landed successfully. It was the ninth test flight and lasted 11 minutes.

“Crew Capsule looks great even after it was pushed hard by the escape test. Astronauts would have had an exhilarating ride and safe landing,” Bezos said in a tweet. “Great engineering and the lucky boots worked again.”

Blue Origin has yet to announce when it will start selling tickets or how much flights will cost. Launch commentator Ariane Cornell promised it would be soon. “It’s coming,” she said.

Also Read: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Space Rides Said to Cost $200K or More

Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, aims to send people and payloads into orbit from Cape Canaveral. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development.

He’s named his rockets after NASA’s original Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. (VOA)

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Bill Gates Officially Surpasses Jeff Bezos as Richest Person on Earth: Report

The Bezos couple finalised their divorce in April in what was reported as the biggest divorce settlement in history, entitling MacKenzie Bezos to Jeff Bezos' stocks worth around $36 billion

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Bill Gates, Fight, Climate Change
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. VOA

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates officially surpassed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at world’s richest person on Earth with a net worth of $110 billion — according to the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Microsoft co-founder had briefly topped Bezos as the world’s richest man last month after Amazon’s lacklustre Q3 results resulted in Bezos losing nearly $7 billion in stock value.

Bezos ended Gates’ 24-year run as the richest man in 2018 with a net worth of $160 billion.

According to CNN, Gates regained the lead on Friday after Microsoft stock went up nearly 48 per cent this year, helping boost the value of his stake in the tech giant.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia Commons)

Amazon’s Cloud arm AWS losing $10 billion Pentagon project to Microsoft has also helped the Satya Nadella-led company gain on the stock market.

Gates debuted on Forbes’ first ever billionaire list in 1987 with a net worth of $1.25 billion.

Also Read: Social Video app TikTok Reaches 1.5 Billion Downloads Worldwide

Bezos first joined The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1998, one year after Amazon went public, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, the report added.

The Bezos couple finalised their divorce in April in what was reported as the biggest divorce settlement in history, entitling MacKenzie Bezos to Jeff Bezos’ stocks worth around $36 billion. (IANS)