Bezos, in his own rocket, blasts off for space

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Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, blasted into space on Tuesday in the New Shepard rocket ship developed by Blue Origin, the aerospace company he created more than two decades ago.

Bezos, the 57-year-old owner of The Washington Post and the former CEO of Amazon, was joined by three other blue-suited crew members on the flight: his younger brother Mark Bezos, 53; American female aviation pioneer Wally Funk, 82; and Dutch incoming college student Oliver Daemen, 18.

Bezos is the second billionaire tech titan to blast off in his own spacecraft this month, following 71-year-old Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson’s historic trip to the edge of space aboard the SpaceShipTwo.

The two trips represent watershed moments for the future of space tourism, even as space policy experts and some congressional lawmakers have expressed concern about the lack of regulations surrounding the burgeoning industry.

Bezos’ takeoff from a desert launch site in West Texas on Tuesday came on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which saw U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first person to step foot on the moon.

The New Shepard crew is expected to travel to an altitude of roughly 66 miles above the Earth in a trip that will last just 10 minutes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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