Amazon founder Jeff Bezos blasted to the edge of space and spent a few minutes outside Earth's atmosphere Tuesday on the first crewed flight from his firm Blue Origin.
An elated Bezos could be heard calling it "the best day ever" after landing back on Earth.
The milestone launch in the modern commercial space race comes on the 52nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's moon landing in 1969, though the space-faring landscape has evolved by giant leaps since then as billionaires emerge as key players driving the new race to the cosmos.
Bezos, who holds the title of the richest man in the world per Bloomberg data, has said the spaceflight will fulfill a lifelong dream and he is also curious how it will "change" him.
Here is how the launch unfolded.
New Shepard is a ‘go’ for launch
The go poll is now complete, and New Shepard is officially a “go” for launch.
Launch has been delayed by a few minutes
With the astronauts in the capsule and the hatch closed, there was a temporary pause in launch activities for approximately five minutes while Blue Origin staff did final checks. Launch activities have since resumed, and liftoff is just 11 minutes away.
The hatch has been closed
The hatch for the New Shepard capsule has officially been closed, and the final checks are now underway ahead of the launch.
The Bezos brothers were seen waving and smiling through the windows of the capsule.
Crew is buckling in their seats
The crew are now getting in their seats on the capsule and buckling-in ahead of the closing of the hatch. A communications check with each astronaut has also commenced.