Oliver, Mark and Jeff sit in black directors chairs while Wally stands and smiles with her arms outstretched in celebration.
News | Jul 20, 2021

Blue Origin safely launches four commercial astronauts to space and back

Blue Origin successfully completed New Shepard’s first human flight today with four private citizens onboard. The crew included Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, who all officially became astronauts when they passed the Kármán Line, the internationally recognized boundary of space.

Upon landing, the astronauts were greeted by their families and Blue Origin’s ground operations team for a celebration in the West Texas desert.

A Historic Mission

  • Wally Funk, 82, became the oldest person to fly in space.  

  • Oliver Daemen, 18, was the first ever commercial astronaut to purchase a ticket and fly to space on a privately-funded and licensed space vehicle from a private launch site. He also became the youngest person to fly in space.  

  • New Shepard became the first commercial vehicle under a suborbital reusable launch vehicle license to fly paying customers, both payloads and astronauts, to space and back.  

  • Jeff and Mark Bezos became the first siblings to ever fly in space together.  

“Today was a monumental day for Blue Origin and human spaceflight,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin. “I am so incredibly proud of Team Blue, their professionalism, and expertise in executing today’s flight. This was a big step forward for us and is only the beginning.”

Blue Origin expects to fly two more crewed flights this year, with many more crewed flights planned for 2022.

If you’d like to purchase a commemorative patch from today’s mission, head to the Blue Origin Shop.

You can also watch a full replay of today's flight and the post-flight press conference below.

If you are interested in securing your own window seat on a future New Shepard launch, sign up for updates on BlueOrigin.com.

-Gradatim Ferociter

Replay: First Human Flight Pre-Launch Mission Briefing

New Shepard remains go for launch on Tuesday, July 20, from Launch Site One in West Texas. Live broadcast starts at 6:30 am CDT / 11:30 UTC. Watch the replay of today’s pre-launch briefing below:

Watch Live: First Human Flight Pre-Launch Mission Briefing

On Sunday, July 18, Blue Origin will host a pre-launch mission briefing live from Launch Site One in West Texas. The event will be broadcast on BlueOrigin.com beginning at 11:00 a.m. CDT / 16:00 UTC.

The briefing will provide final details about the Tuesday, July 20, First Human Flight mission, including updates on vehicle readiness, flight and safety preparedness, and astronaut training.


  • Bob Smith, Chief Executive Officer

  • Steve Lanius, Lead Flight Director

  • Audrey Powers, Vice President, New Shepard Operations

  • Chris Jaeger, Chief Engineer, New Shepard

  • Ariane Cornell, Director of Astronaut Sales

Follow @BlueOrigin on Twitter for updates.

-Gradatim Ferociter

How to Watch Blue Origin’s First Human Flight on July 20

New Shepard is go for launch. On July 20, Blue Origin will fly its 16th New Shepard flight to space, and its first with astronauts on board. The launch will be broadcast live on BlueOrigin.com beginning at 6:30 am CDT / 11:30 UTC. Liftoff is currently targeted for 8:00 am CDT / 13:00 UTC.

Following the launch, a live press conference with the astronauts will be broadcast on BlueOrigin.com.

Blue Origin’s Launch Site One is in a remote location in the West Texas desert and there are no on-site public viewing areas in the vicinity of the launch site. The Texas Department of Transportation will be closing a portion of State Highway 54 adjacent to the launch site and will not allow spectators on the closed portion of the road during the launch.

Follow @BlueOrigin on Twitter and sign up on BlueOrigin.com to stay up to date on all mission details.

-Gradatim Ferociter