Blue Origin completes first manned spaceflight

| July 20, 2021

Bezos and Company

Jeff Bezos became the second billionaire this month to fund the development of a civilian space program and then fly on said rocket into space. Last week Sir Richard Branson of Virgin [Records|Galactic|Group] fame beat Bezos into space, but the crew that went with Bezos is the more interesting story here.

As I type this, the crew of Blue Origin’s New Shepard (named for Alan Shepard, astronaut and US Navy rear admiral) are still unloading after completing their roughly ten minute flight to above the Karman Line (330k feet). By all international standards that means they’ve been to “space”.

Bezos brought along his brother (pictured to Bezos’ left in the above photo) and two record setters. First is the young man in the far left side of the photo. That’s 18-year-old Dutch student and trust fund child Oliver Daemen. He is now the youngest person to have flown in space. He purchased his seat in a charity auction for $28 million.

The lady in the photo is the legendary Wally Funk. She didn’t have to pay to fly. She’s the last remaining member of the “Mercury 13”. This oft-forgotten group of astronaut candidates were all women and selected after the more famous Mercury 7 (of which the aforementioned Shepard was a member). While these 13 women went through all the rigorous testing and evaluation to become NASA astronauts in the early 1960s, none of them ever participated in any space missions.

Funk was the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, the first female civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the first female Federal Aviation Agency inspector. At age 82 she is now the oldest person to have ever flown to space. She beats former record-holder Senator John Glenn (also a Mercury 7 alum) who made his second spaceflight in 1998 at age 77.

Category: Blue Skies, F*** Yeah!

Comments (24)

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  1. Old tanker says:

    First. What do I win.

    Not really a fan of rich folks buying a seat into non orbit.

    • Mason says:

      Me neither, which is why I didn’t post about Branson’s trip. I am more excited about Wally Funk finally getting to see the pale blue dot.

      • ChipNASA says:

        This is the only part of the story that is “cool”.
        I’m a SpaceX fan more than I am a Virgin or Blue Origin fan.
        I’m all for private industry improving our capabilities but the tourist thing, “Meh”…I guess it’s part of the natural order of development of things but getting people the LEO (Low Earth Orbit) breaking the actual zero-g plane (as it were, my description) I don’t know what to call it, but ON ORBIT, is a level of difficulty greater than just breaking the so called FAA term of 52 or 63 or whatever miles to call it “space”…from an engineering perspective, say, like actually launching a payload of cargo or PEOPLE to the ISS or Hubble or whatever, oh yeah, like THE FUCKING MOON!!!

    • FuzeVT says:

      Understand not getting excited about rich folks doing rich folk stuff. A couple of ways this is different:
      > Aside from the current rush of rich folks going to space on their own dime, it’s not as if this is “average rich guy stuff”
      > These rich guys are breaking new ground as to what humans are capable of. No one can fail to see the ground breaking work Elon Musk is doing.
      > These private companies are what happens when the government monopoly on space flight (i.e. NASA) is done away with.
      > Rich guys do stuff first and that makes that stuff available for the rest of us schmoes. Who had computers when they first came out? Rich guys. Who had flat screens when they first came out? Rich guys. Now I can bet most of you have multiple of both (or at least could easily get them).
      It’s just the way of things.

  2. Sandman says:

    Watched it live,,,more like a glorified Carnival ride than anything else, IMO. Ship goes up, ship comes down.

  3. Green Thumb says:

    Leave him in space.

    Is it me, or does the crew bring back memories of the “Lost in Space” crew?

  4. AW1 Rod says:

    A pity Bezos couldn’t have been jettisoned, to join all the other orbiting space garbage.

  5. President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neanderthal B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist SuperStraight says:

    What? Jeff came back? Damn!

  6. KoB says:

    I wuz gonna buy me a ticket for that ride, but I needed the $ to buy some lumber for renovations to COP CRC Timber Ranch. The space trip mighta been cheaper.

    I did apply for the Door Gunner Slot but my 40 watt plasma rifle came up missing at Fort Hood.

  7. ChipNASA says:

    Is it just me or is everyone else smiling and Bezos is sitting there with a disappointed “ugh” look like his butt dildo isn’t large enough to tickle his prostate or something like that.
    I dunno. Look again…

    • Max says:

      just the usual multi billionaire ‘I am center of the universe’ smirk that makes you want to pick up a bat & smack him

  8. Hatchet says:

    As Mason cited – only reason I was interested in watching the flight was because of Wally Funk. Besos? *YAWN*

  9. Wireman611 says:

    Noticed he wore a cowboy hat into and upon exiting the capsule. Does that make him a space cowboy and a gangster of love?

  10. Commissar says:

    Ostentatious displays of wealth are now celebrated as human accomplishments.

    I guess we need to teach Veblen in high school so people will wake the F up.

    The fact that his craft was shaped like a huge dildo is simulation theory material.

    We are living in a satire.

    • Hatchet says:

      Dude, really? That’s ALL you took away from all of that..?! Guess your observations of ‘ostentatious displays of wealth’ can only stem from some weird brand of envy for something you’ll never have. *sigh* And yet again(I’m sensing a predictable pattern here), you make the unsupported supposition of ‘we need to teach Veblen in high school’ but yet again you DO NOT support this with any FACTS of WHY and HOW teaching Veblen at any level and in any curriculum would wake ANYONE the F up. But your phallic observations are indicative and rather telling. in a Satire? Uh, no. That’s just you, LARS… Happy? Good! No worries, you’re still a FRAUD.
      FUCK OFF

      P.S. Your spelling and syntax still suck. Work on it.

      • Commissar says:

        Why do you even respond to my posts?

        Your responses are never in good faith. So why bother?

        And you are right, I have no proof teaching Veblen would fix anything. And in fact that proof would be impossible to provide since we don’t fucking teach Veblen in high school so we have and cannot collect any data on the question.

        Though if you read Veblen you would understand why I wrote what I wrote, and understand that it was intended as snark, and not as an actual solution to the absurd kleptocratic oligarchy we live in.

        Plus, not matter what we teach in high school there would be intransigent idiots like you.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          “Plus, not matter what we teach in high school there would be intransigent idiots like you.”
          Brainwashed propagandists like you have been indoctrinating kids in public schools for decades, that’s how we’ve ended up with your fellow useful idiots wanting communism!
          You really need to get a good colonoscopy for all the butthurt you got through life with.

  11. MarineDad61 says:

    Today’s “Head”Line for the ages.

    [Jeff Bezos’ Penis-Shaped Rocket Launches Dr. Evil Comparisons]

    [“Congrats to Jeff Bezos on getting so close
    to a perfect Austin Powers reference,” one person tweets]

    • Hatchet says:

      And somewhere the ghost of MiniMe watches on and….is afraid.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Like I read elsewhere today, “My Mom and Dad watched men walk on the Moon and I got to watch the Billionaire who killed bookstores launch into space in a giant penis.”

      • UpNorth says:

        Yup, my wife slept through the moonwalk, my folks and I watched it. Now we’ve both seen Bezos’ homage to Viagra take to the skies.