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Blue Origin Successfully Launches Six Passengers, Including a Genealogist, to the Edge of Space

20 May 2024 7:51 AM | Anonymous

"Blue Origin's tourism rocket has launched passengers to the edge of space for the first time in nearly two years," reports CNN, "ending a hiatus prompted by a failed uncrewed test flight."

The New Shepard rocket and capsule lifted off at 9:36 a.m. CT (10:36 a.m. ET) from Blue Origin's facilities on a private ranch in West Texas.

NS-25, Blue Origin's seventh crewed flight to date, carried six customers aboard the capsule: venture capitalist Mason Angel; Sylvain Chiron, founder of the French craft brewery Brasserie Mont-Blanc; (software engineer and entrepreneur Kenneth L. Hess, a retired software engineer and entrepreneur who developed Family Tree Maker, which was bought by in 2003); retired accountant Carol Schaller; aviator Gopi Thotakura; and Ed Dwight, a retired US Air Force captain selected by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to be the nation's first Black astronaut candidate... Dwight completed that challenge and reached the edge of space at the age of 90, making him the oldest person to venture to such heights, according to a spokesperson from Blue Origin...

"It's a life-changing experience," he said. "Everybody needs to do this."

The rocket booster landed safely a couple minutes prior to the capsule. During the mission, the crew soared to more than three times the speed of sound, or more than 2,000 miles per hour. The rocket vaulted the capsule past the Kármán line, an area 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth's surface that is widely recognized as the altitude at which outer space begins...

"And at the peak of the flight, passengers experienced a few minutes of weightlessness and striking views of Earth through the cabin windows."

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