Amelia Earhart’s glasses – the pair she wore to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932 – have now crossed another divide: the boundary between Earth and space.
A lot of traveling aviator goggles, which Earhart once described as “quite historical”, took off again on Tuesday (July 20) aboard Blue Origin’s first manned flight suborbital launch vehicle New Shepard.
“You can see that she put them on the film so that less light gets in because it was so bright all day and she flew for so long,” said Jeff Bezos, billionaire founder of Blue Origin, at a press conference on him and his three. crewmates short flight into space.
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Earhart is known to have disappeared in flight in 1937, leaving glasses behind. The eyepieces were leased to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and sold at a 2009 auction for $ 141,600 to an unidentified bidder.
Bezos, still at the height of the realization of his dream of space flight, could not resist and raised his glasses to his eyes.
“I like to think that if Amelia were here, she would be very, very proud of … Wally,” he said, referring to his New Shepard teammate, Wally Funk.
An experienced pilot on your ownIn her youth, Funk joined a group of women called Mercury 13 to undergo the same medical tests as NASA’s first astronauts. Funk became the oldest person to fly into space on Tuesday at the age of 82. She decided to launch a postcard featuring herself in front of the American flag.
“This is what will be in the window when I go up, and I’m going to photograph it with the Earth behind me,” Funk told Blue Origin in an interview ahead of the launch.
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Mark Bezos, Jeff’s younger brother and the third crew member aboard the New Shepard, has arranged to lease two other aviation artifacts for the voyage. The Bezos brothers became the first blood relatives to go into space together, just like another pair of siblings entered the history of aviation more than a century ago.
“We were able to launch a piece of canvas from the Wright Flyer, the plane that the Wright brothers flew,” Mark said. “We brought in a piece of this canvas that was really powerful.”
10 minute flight marked the latest space travel for Flyer fabric… The previous fragments were sent to the moon by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong into low-Earth orbit along with astronaut John Glenn on his second flight into space and attached to NASA’s Perseverance rover for his journey in search of life on the surface of Mars.
The Bezos brothers also raised a bronze medallion that “was made on the first hot air balloon flight in 1883” when people first took off from the ground in controlled flight. “
“We were very excited to bring both of these items with us,” said Mark.
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“And we got those precious items back,” Jeff hastened to add. Both the Flyer fabric and the medallion were on loan from The Explorers Club in NYC.
Jeff Bezos needed to get another souvenir just delivered – a silver pendant necklace in the shape of the Blue Origin logo with feathers, which he took into space for his mother and mother Mark.
“I wore this in space and now it’s for you,” he said.
Along with Oliver Daman, an 18-year-old Dutch physics student who became the first Blue Origin paid passenger to fly into space, brothers Bezos and Funk also received a memento of their flight.
“These astronauts will have A-shaped wings,” said Jeff Ashby, Blue Origin’s flight operations chief and former NASA astronaut. “The sides represent the road to space, and our feather logo is the transverse stripe. At the top is a tiny blue sapphire [is there] to remind these people that they are from planet Earth and their mission is to protect this home. “
Video of teammates floating inside the New Shepard capsule showed they had two more items to travel. Four threw small orange ping-pong balls and took turns trying to catch Skittles fruit candy.
“Who needs a pin? See if you can catch it in your mouth, ”said Jeff Bezos.
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