Billionaire Bezos, crew blast off into space on successful visit


Billionaire Jeff Bezos and a crew that included an 81-year-old former astronaut-in-training and a Dutch teen whose father paid for the flight, completed a successful launch to the edge of space Tuesday from the US state of Texas.


"Whoo-hoo! Oh my God, it's dark up here!," marveled Wally Funk, the oldest person in space, as the crew spent a few minutes in weightlessness about 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the surface of the Earth.


"You have a very happy crew up here," Bezos said. His brother, Mark, was the fourth crew member.


A long, tubular rocket blasted the New Shepard space capsule to its maximum height before drifting back to Earth, guided by two parachutes, before landing with a thud and a cloud of dust on a prairie.