WATCH: Jeff Bezos, world's richest man, travels to space on his Blue Origin rocket
Washington, July 20: Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person, and three crewmates landed after Blue Origin's first flight to space with passengers aboard, a key milestone in the company's effort to make space tourism viable.
The 57-year-old American billionaire flew on a voyage lasting about 10 minutes and 20 seconds to the edge of space, along with his brother Mark, 82-year-old former pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old teen Oliver Daeman beyond the Karman Line
This comes nine days after Briton Richard Branson was aboard his competing space tourism company Virgin Galactic's successful inaugural suborbital flight from New Mexico.
Bezos' dream-come-true trip follows 15 successful test flights to space by New Shepard rockets since 2015, all of them unoccupied. If successful, Blue Origin plans two more passenger flights by year's end.
The company has yet to open ticket sales to the public and is filling upcoming flights with those who took part in last month's USD 28 million charity auction for the fourth capsule seat.
The mystery winner bowed out of Tuesday's launch because of a scheduling conflict. That opened up the slot for Oliver Daemen, a college-bound student from the Netherlands whose father was among the unsuccessful bidders.
Also flying: Bezos' younger brother, Mark, and Wally Funk, one of 13 female pilots who went through the same testing back in the early 1960s as NASA's Mercury astronauts, but failed to make the cut because they were women.
Not everyone in the remote, desert town of Van Horn was excited about the drama unfolding 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the north.
WATCH: Jeff Bezos voyage to space here