Jeff Bezos gave a heartfelt thanks to Amazon employees and customers following his record-setting trip to space Tuesday — noting that they “paid for all of this.”
“I … want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this,” the 57-year-old Amazon founder told reporters after returning from his trip to the edge of space.
“So seriously, for every Amazon customer out there, and every Amazon employee thank you from the bottom of my heart, very much. It’s very appreciated.”
Bezos received his wings in a ceremony after he returned on his company Blue Origin’s first commercial flight, which took off around 9:12 a.m. on Tuesday from West Texas.
“The atmosphere is so big. But when you get up above it, you see it’s this tiny little fragile thing,” he said of the out-of-this-world journey.
“That’s very profound. It’s one thing to recognize that intellectually. It’s another thing to actually see with your own eyes how fragile it really is and that was amazing,” he continued.
Asked how completing the mission felt, Bezos exclaimed, “Oh my God!’
“My expectations were high and they were dramatically exceeded,” he said, adding that he was surprised by “how normal” it felt to be in a zero-gravity environment.
“It felt almost like we were as humans evolved to be in that environment which I know is impossible,” he said.
Bezos was accompanied on the New Shepard rocket by his 53-year-old younger brother, Mark Bezos, whom he called the “funniest person to go to space” and had surprised by inviting him on the trip.
“It just meant a tremendous amount to me … in being there to celebrate a lifelong dream come true,” Mark told MSNBC.
The Bezos brothers were also joined on the trip by 18-year-old recent high school graduate, Oliver Daemen, and 82-year-old space pioneer, Wally Funk.
Daemen, who was the company’s first paying customer, and Funk made history as the youngest and oldest to complete the journey to space.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to finally get it up there and I’ve done a lot of astronaut training, through the world, Russia, America, and I could always be the guys on what they were doing,” said Funk, who was one of 13 female pilots who went through the same tests as NASA’s all-male astronaut corps in the early 1960s but didn’t get the opportunity to go to space until Tuesday.
The mission lasted about 10 minutes and 20 seconds, taking the crew of four about 66.5 miles above the Earth and allowing them to experience a few minutes of weightlessness.
“Big things start small. I told this crew when we got in today and we were sitting there on the pad, waiting to lift off… I said, ‘Guys, if you’re willing, let me invite you, when we get up there, there’s going to be all kinds of adrenaline, all kinds of excitement, all kinds of novelty, but take a minute,” Bezos said.
“Take a few seconds to look out and calmly think about what we’re doing. It’s not only adventure … but it’s also important because what we’re doing is the first step of something big,” he said.
The flight came nine days after another billionaire, Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson, took off in his competing space travel company’s rocket from New Mexico.