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Jeff Bezos: Journey of world's richest man from suburban garage to edge of space

Jeff Bezos(C), Wally Funk(R) and Oliver Daemen(L) after Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard craft capsule returned from space, safely landing in Van Horn, Texas (AFP)Premium
Jeff Bezos(C), Wally Funk(R) and Oliver Daemen(L) after Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard craft capsule returned from space, safely landing in Van Horn, Texas (AFP)

  • The move further makes space tourism viable and fulfilling a childhood dream of Bezos to explore the heavens and completed the voyage well within time
  • Jeff Bezos and three crewmates flew from a desert site in West Texas on an 11-minute trip to the edge of space

Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person, blasted off for an 11-minute ride on his company’s rocket, furthering a push to make space tourism viable and fulfilling a childhood dream to explore the heavens and completed the voyage well within time.

"Our recovery team is headed out to meet Jeff, Mark, Wally, and Oliver for a celebration marking their return from space," tweeted rocket company Blue Origin.

The spaceship floated down on three giant parachutes before firing a retro thruster, sending up a cloud of sand as it gently landed at one or two miles (kilometers) an hour.

"A very happy group of people in this capsule," said Bezos.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket soared into the skies over a West Texas launchpad at about 8:12 a.m. local time Tuesday, carrying the world’s richest man, his brother and two others. It’s the first flight with people on board for Blue Origin, which Bezos founded in 2000 with a vision of a future in which millions of people will one day live and work in space. The New Shepherd had previously flown 15 times without a crew.

Within minutes, the Blue Origin tweeted: "Booster touchdown! Third successful landing for this rocket and the first to carry four private citizens to space above the Kármán Line.

Here is a look at Bezos' life, from building an ecommerce startup in a garage in the suburbs of Seattle, to launching into space, a dream the entrepreneur has had since he was 5-year-old.

12 January 1964: On January 12, Jeffrey Preston Bezos (Jeff Bezos) is born in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Jacklyn Gise and Ted Jorgensen and is later adopted by Miguel Bezos

1986: Bezos graduated from Princeton University after studying electrical engineering and computer science

1990: Joined investment bank D.E. Shaw & Co, soon named the firm's youngest senior vice president

1993: Married MacKenzie Tuttle, whom he met at D.E. Shaw

1994: Bezos, who called himself a "garage inventor" from a young age, quits D.E. Shaw, moves to Seattle to open a virtual bookstore out of a garage

1995: Amazon.com sells its first book, begins to rapidly expand and diversify

2000: Bezos sets up his rocket startup Blue Origin

2006: Amazon introduces cloud computing service Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon Unbox, the original video programming service to be later renamed to Amazon Prime Video

2007: Amazon releases Kindle, a portable digital reading device

2012: Blue Origin begins flight testing New Shepard

2019: Jeff and MacKenzie file for divorce after 25 years of marriage; the couple has four children together

2021: Bezos steps down as CEO of Amazon on July 5, but remains executive chairman of e-commerce giant, with a net worth of over $206 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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