A Blue Origin astronaut has given spaceflight just two stars to Jeff Bezos, in a scathing review after claiming the capsule “didn’t go high enough.”
Wally Funk, 82, who became the oldest person to fly in space, was one of four passengers aboard the $5.5 billion rocket that launched with the crew for the first time on Tuesday.
Wally flew with Bezos, 57, younger brother Mark, 53, and teenager Oliver Damon, in what the Amazon CEO described as “the best day ever.”
Nevertheless, in a post-flight interview with VixenWally speaks of his extreme dismay after claiming to have failed to see Earth on the Blue Origin capsule.
This comes after spending six decades trying to reach space as a trained astronaut.
She said: “We went right up there and I saw the darkness. I thought I was going to see the world, but we weren’t high enough.”
In footage shared by Blue Origin, four passengers aboard the ship can see the edge of Earth’s atmosphere and the curve in the horizon as well as the darkening of space.
The rocket was launched at 9.11 a.m. EST as the capsule detached from the rocket once it reached an altitude of 47 miles and passed a range of 62 miles.
According to reports, Bezos and the passengers “took and swam around the capsule, cheering in the capsule as they experienced free fall for about four minutes.”
“You have a very happy crew here, I want you to know,” Mr. Bezos said as the capsule landed.
The rocket made it back at 9.21 a.m., but the total flight time was only 10 minutes and 10 seconds.
And Wally, who had been denied an earlier opportunity to fly in space, admitted to Fox that she would have preferred to spend more time in zero gravity on the flight “to do a lot of rolls and twists and so on.”
“I loved every minute of it,” she said. “I wish it was longer.”
His remarks came as Bezos faced a slew of criticisms about the use of money on the Blue Origin flight capsule – which this week some claimed “looked like a penis.”
The total cost of the flight was $5.5 billion and the Amazon CEO was forced to defend the program because he said such critics were “fairly accurate”, but denied that space travel and home improvement conflict. are in.
Responding at a post-flight press conference, he announced that he would give $200 million to CNN’s Van Jones and Jose Andres to donate to the charity of their choice.
The historic space venture also comes as Bezos’s Blue Origin and rival firm Virgin Galactic were recently spun off, which appear to be in the race to become the first to send their CEO into space.
Blue Origin announced its plans to send Bezos on his maiden flight to New Shepard on May 5.
Within days, Virgin Galactic revealed that it would send founder Sir Richard Branson on its first space voyage on July 11.
Sir Richard last week successfully flew 50 miles above Earth’s surface in the company’s VSS Unity spaceplane, nine days before Bezos.
Speaking of the follow-up to his successful space flight, Sir Richard said that his reaction to Blue Origin’s comments was to “simply ignore them”.
“I have my astronaut wings,” said Sir Richard. “NASA, which is the global authority on this, has always recognized 50 miles as the limit of space. These are the rules under which we operate.
“Blue Origin’s early spacecraft may do a handful or two more than us in space a few seconds later, but our future spacecraft will do the same.”
He continued: “It doesn’t really matter to people’s overall experience.
“I think if someone looks at the pictures taken during the mission, they will see that we were firmly in space.”
When asked about the race with Branson on Monday, Bezos said: “There is a person who was the first person in space, his name was [Russian cosmonaut] Yuri Gagarin, and this happened a long time ago.
“I think I’m number 570 or something, that’s where we are on this list, so it’s not a competition, it’s about building a road to space so that generations to come can do incredible things out there.”