The successful completion of the tourist space flight by Oliver Daemen, an 18-year old Dutchman, has been achieved. Blue Origin’s catacombs were filled with the sound of “Welcome Back to Earth”. Two other astronauts, Jeff Bezos, the richest man on Earth and Daemen, lifted off Tuesday from the western Texas space base.
De Brabander is the youngest ever astronaut. He is also the fourth born Dutchman to have been in space, after Lodewijk van den Berg, Wubbo Ockels and André Kuipers.
The flight took just over 10 minutes. The rocket reaches an altitude greater than 100 km, where passengers are weightless for just a few minutes. They can see the Earth and all of the universe.
“Thank you very much, that was great”, were Deamen’s first words. After the flight, Deamen hugged his family and appeared euphoric. Later, the crew received a champagne shower.
Blue Origin, Bezos’s space company, launched the first human-powered flight. It wants to sell tourist flights at the edge of space. Bezos hopes to draw attention to his company and himself with the first flight. Bezos, his brother Mark and himself are on board.
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Wally Funk, who is 82 years old was offered another spot. She is now the oldest ever astronaut. Funk was one of the first female astronauts to be sent into space by the United States in 1960s.
Blue Origin sold their last seat on board to the highest possible bidder. The trip cost 28 million dollars (more 23 million euros), but the unknown buyer was not able to pay that amount. They will join you on a subsequent space flight. Daemen was allowed to join. His father, an investor had also offered the flight. Blue Origin describes Daemen as “the first paying customer”, though it isn’t known what he or his dad paid.
Daemen will be studying physics at Utrecht in September after his return to Earth.
Spaceflight has been widely criticized. Many people wonder why billionaires such as Elon Musk and Richard Branson are forced to go on a scavenger hunt into space while wildfires rage across America and Canada, and flooding and landslides decimate Europe’s continents.
Bezos said that astronauts often see how fragile the Earth from space. It was a curiosity to him how the passengers would feel that.