After a break of almost two years, US multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin has brought space tourists to the edge of orbit for the first time.

A live broadcast on the Internet showed how Blue Origins’ New Shepard rocket successfully set off from a launch pad in the US state of Texas on Sunday. After an eleven-minute flight with brief weightlessness, the six space tourists landed back at the Blue Origin base near Van Horn.

Among the space tourists was Ed Dwight, a former African-American Air Force pilot who was rejected as an astronaut by the US space agency NASA in the 1960s. At the age of 90 years, eight months and ten days, his flight made him the oldest person to fly into space. “Star Trek” actor William Shatner was almost two months younger when he flew with Blue Origin in 2021.

The fact that Dwight was not allowed to become an astronaut decades ago had sparked criticism. Now, before his departure, the sculptor joked: “I was the first guy in the world to become famous for doing nothing.” He was “overwhelmed” that he was now flying into space. After landing, Dwight spoke of a “life-changing experience that everyone should have.” “I thought I didn’t need that in my life,” said the 90-year-old. But that was a lie, he joked.

When the capsule landed in the desert, one of the three parachutes did not fully inflate, possibly resulting in a harder landing. A spokesman for Blue Origin said the system is prepared for such failures. The capsule is equipped with a single parachute for a safe landing, he explained. “The entire mission was a success and all of our astronauts are happy to be back,” emphasized the spokesman.

It was Blue Origin’s seventh manned mission. So far, Amazon founder Bezos’ company has brought 31 people into space. Bezos was personally on board for the first manned flight in 2021. The flights will use a small and fully reusable New Shepard rocket, named after Alan Shepard, the first U.S. citizen in space.

The rocket program suffered a setback in September when an unmanned New Shepard burst into flames shortly after launch. An investigation by US authorities found that the engine had overheated.