Jeff Bezos, the 57-year-old founder of Amazon, has successfully flown to the edge of space and then returned to the earth, adding a new title to his résumé: astronaut.

Iran PressAmerica: Bezos successfully flew to the edge of space Tuesday aboard a rocket and capsule developed by his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin. The billionaire entrepreneur made history by being part of the first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew. The much-anticipated trip was also the first crewed launch for Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.

Bezos launched to space at around 9:11 am ET Tuesday from a site in the west Texas desert southeast of El Paso. After liftoff, the New Shepard rocket accelerated toward space at three times the speed of sound. At an altitude of 250,000 feet, the capsule separated, taking Bezos and his crew to the edge of space. The craft then descended under parachutes and landed again in the Texas desert. The entire flight lasted roughly 10 minutes, NBC News reported.

Both the New Shepard rocket and capsule are designed to be reusable.

Bezos' launch was just nine days after another billionaire, British entrepreneur Richard Branson, flew to the edge of space on a rocket-powered vehicle designed by his own space tourism company, Virgin Galactic. Both flights — combined with the competition between the rival billionaires — have captured global attention and garnered interest and enthusiasm for the nascent space tourism industry.


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