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History of Blue Origin: How Jeff Bezos’ love of space sent humans 66 miles above Earth’s surface

Blue Origin made history Tuesday by launching the richest, oldest and youngest person into space aboard its New Shepard rocket, but before the aerospace firm added space tourism to its list of service it was nothing more than an idea on paper.

Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 to chase down a childhood dream of spaceflight and building a society of millions of people who live and work in space.

In a 1982 Miami Herald interview, he gave after being named valedictorian of his high school, the then 18-year-old said he wanted ‘to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for two or three million people who would be in orbit.’

 ‘The whole idea is to preserve the earth’ he told the newspaper … The goal was to be able to evacuate humans. The planet would become a park.’ 

The idea of Blue Origin came about in 1999 after Bezos watched the film October Sky, a movie about a school kid who wants to build rockets, and the aerospace company was born just one year later.

It took 15 years before Bezos’ company made its first successful launch and landing of New Shepard, but today that rocket has taken him, his brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, who become the youngest person in space, and former NASA trainee Wally Funk, 82, who become the oldest, 66 miles above Earth’s surface.

Blue Origin made history Tuesday (pictured) by launching the richest, oldest and youngest person into space aboard its New Shepard rocket, but before the aerospace firm added space tourism to its list of service it was nothing more than an idea on paper

Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen on January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but adopted by his step father, Mike Bezos, at the age of four when his last name was changed.

His mother, Jacklyn, was 17 years old when she gave birth to Bezos and his father, Ted Jorgensen, was a local bike shop owner in the city.

His parents married following the news Jacklyn was pregnant, but divorced in 1965.

She met a Cuban immigrant named Miguel ‘Mike’ Bezo and the two married – Mike officially adopted Bezos in April of 1968.

Jeff Bezos (second from left) founded Blue Origin in 2000 to chase down a childhood dream of spaceflight, which evolved into a goal that aims to form a new society of millions of people who live and work in the final frontier. Pictured is Oliver Daemen (left), Mark Bezos (second from right) and Wally Funk (right), who joined the Tuesday mission

Jeff Bezos (second from left) founded Blue Origin in 2000 to chase down a childhood dream of spaceflight, which evolved into a goal that aims to form a new society of millions of people who live and work in the final frontier. Pictured is Oliver Daemen (left), Mark Bezos (second from right) and Wally Funk (right), who joined the Tuesday mission

While still in high school, Bezos developed the Dream Institute, a center that promoted creative thinking in young students. 

In 1986, he graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. 

Bezos then worked in New York in 1990 at an investment bank, but quit four years later to move to Seattle, Washington to open a virtual bookstore – and he setup shop inside his garage, according to Britannica. 

Named after the South American river, Amazon sold its first book in July 1995. 

In a 1982 Miami Herald interview, he gave after being named valedictorian of his high school, the then 18-year-old said he wanted 'to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for two or three million people who would be in orbit.' Pictured is Bezos as a senior in high school

In a 1982 Miami Herald interview, he gave after being named valedictorian of his high school, the then 18-year-old said he wanted ‘to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for two or three million people who would be in orbit.’ Pictured is Bezos as a senior in high school

Bezos (center) always had a love for science and technology. Here he is again as a senior in high school

Bezos (center) always had a love for science and technology. Here he is again as a senior in high school

Bezos stepped from what is now a nearly $400 billion company earlier this year and is using his skills and focus on other projects, such as Blue Origin.

In 2014, Bezos invested over $500 million of his own money into the aerospace company and by 2016, he was spending up to $1 billion a year, which was funded by Amazon stocks. 

Although the New Shepard rocket was the star on Tuesday, it was Blue Origin’s Goddard rocket that started it all.

Goddard was the first developmental vehicle in Blue Origin’s New Shepard program that first flew on November 13, 2006, but has since been retired. 

The craft used nine clustered peroxide-powered rocket engines to make sub-orbital flights, and it was essentially a proof-of-concept testbed and demonstration article to show the company’s intent.

It was named in honor of Robert Goddard, who is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion.

Bezos began working on a new rocket that was a vertical-takeoff and landing spaceship, which he named New Shepard after Alan Shepard who was the first American in space.

The idea of the space company came about in 1999, after Bezos watched the film October Sky, which is about a school kid who wants to build rockets, and Blue Origin was born just one year later

The idea of the space company came about in 1999, after Bezos watched the film October Sky, which is about a school kid who wants to build rockets, and Blue Origin was born just one year later

New Shepard is powered by a single BE-3 liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen rocket engine and stands 59 feet tall. 

The rocket first launched on April 29, 2015 from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in Van Horn, Texas, and was the milestone Bezos needed to embark on his space tourism venture.

In video released by Blue Origin, the booster – using liquid hydrogen and oxygen – lifts the New Shepard vehicle to an altitude of 58 miles.

This was four miles short of the official boundary of space, which New Shepard cleared Tuesday.  

Although the New Shepard rocket is the star Tuesday, it was Blue Origin’s Goddard rocket that started it all. Goddard was the first developmental vehicle in Blue Origin’s New Shepard program that first flew on November 13, 2006, but has since been retired

Although the New Shepard rocket is the star Tuesday, it was Blue Origin’s Goddard rocket that started it all. Goddard was the first developmental vehicle in Blue Origin’s New Shepard program that first flew on November 13, 2006, but has since been retired

Bezos began working on a new rocket that was a vertical-takeoff and landing spaceship, which he named New Shepard after Alan Shepard who was the first American in space. It first launched on April 29, 2015 (pictured)

Bezos began working on a new rocket that was a vertical-takeoff and landing spaceship, which he named New Shepard after Alan Shepard who was the first American in space. It first launched on April 29, 2015 (pictured) 

‘The in-space separation of the crew capsule from the propulsion module was perfect,’ Bezos said in a blog post.

‘Any astronauts on board would have had a very nice journey into space and a smooth return.’

Along with New Shepard, Blue Origin also has its trusty New Glenn rocket that is set to launch later this year or in early 2022.

The firm hopes to use this rocket to send crew capsules into orbit.

Following with the trend of Blue Origin’s other rockets, New Glenn is named after Mercury astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth during his Friendship 7 flight.

Bezos has also had his sights set on sending humans to the moon and unveiled Blue Origins lander on May 9, 2019.

Bezos has also had his sights set on sending humans to the moon and unveiled Blue Origins lander on May 9, 2019

Bezos has also had his sights set on sending humans to the moon and unveiled Blue Origins lander on May 9, 2019

The plan could ultimately serve as a stepping stone for colonization of the moon and deeper space targets, Bezos suggested.

Blue Origin was in the running for a contract with NASA to build a lunar lander that will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface, but lost it to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

However, the Bezos-owned company protested NASA’s decision and SpaceX was told to halt building a lunar spacecraft, pending the outcome of challenges by rival bidders at the Government Accountability Office.

NASA’s decision means SpaceX has to stop any work specifically related to the moon program contract until the GAO makes a ruling, expected August 4 at the latest.

While it is not clear if Bezos will ever get to the moon, he can say he has ventured just beyond the edge of space. The crew took off at 9:12am ET and experienced weightlessness for about four minutes, before falling back to Earth to land in Texas

While it is not clear if Bezos will ever get to the moon, he can say he has ventured just beyond the edge of space. The crew took off at 9:12am ET and experienced weightlessness for about four minutes, before falling back to Earth to land in Texas

Pictured is Bezos experience zero gravity for at least four minutes

Pictured is Bezos experience zero gravity for at least four minutes

While the new astronauts were enjoying their time in space, the booster returned to the landing pad for use on a future flight. On landing Jeff Bezos described it as the 'best day ever' when asked for a 'status check'

While the new astronauts were enjoying their time in space, the booster returned to the landing pad for use on a future flight. On landing Jeff Bezos described it as the ‘best day ever’ when asked for a ‘status check’

While it is not clear if Bezos will ever get to the moon, he can say he has ventured just beyond the edge of space. 

The crew took off at 9:12am ET and experienced weightlessness for about four minutes, before falling back to Earth to land in Texas. 

While the new astronauts were enjoying their time in space, the booster returned to the landing pad for use on a future flight.

On landing Jeff Bezos described it as the ‘best day ever’ when asked for a ‘status check.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk