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Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, and three other passengers flew on a suborbital mission into space Tuesday morning aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard.

The latest: The four-person crew is safely back on Earth after their flight to space. New Shepard launched Bezos, his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk and the company's first paying customer, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, on a mission to suborbital space.

  • 9:20 a.m. ET: The New Shepard's parachutes deployed as the capsule descended.
  • 9:19 a.m. ET: The booster that carried the crew up to space successfully landed back on Earth.
  • 9:14 a.m. ET: The rocket's main engine cut off and the crew is now floating weightless within the capsule ahead of their descent back to Earth.
  • 8:43 a.m. ET: The hatch is closed and the crew is strapped in and waiting for launch.
  • 8:38 a.m. ET: The passengers have been seated in their crew capsule and have gone through a series of communications tests with mission control.
  • 8:26 a.m. ET: The Bezos brothers, Daemen and Funk are walked up the tower to get seated in their crew capsule.
  • 8:20 a.m. ET: The passengers are driven out to the launch pad ahead of being loaded into the crew capsule.
  • 8:15 a.m. ET: Blue Origin showed us our first glimpse of the four passengers as they walked out from the company’s astronaut training center to load into a car heading to the launch pad.

Catch up quick: Tuesday's flight is the Blue Origin's first crewed launch and is the culmination of years of work for the company, which is trying to beef up its customer base for these suborbital flights.

The big picture: Bezos is the second billionaire this month to launch into space in his company's own rocket, after Richard Branson completed his own Virgin Galactic suborbital flight on July 11.

Go deeper: Billionaires are the new face of the final frontier

This story is developing and will be updated.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 3, 2021 - Science

Why the space race is worth running

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Billionaires, not governments, are the contestants in the new space race. Their competition is drawing criticism and eye rolling — and sparking debate about whether it actually benefits the rest of us.

The big picture: International and corporate competition have been a part of the space industry since the launch of Sputnik nearly 65 years ago.

Frontier passenger taped to seat after allegedly assaulting 3 flight attendants

Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

A Frontier Airlines passenger was arrested for allegedly groping the breasts of two attendants and punching a third before being taped to his seat for the remainder of his flight from Philadelphia to Miami, per multiple reports.

The big picture: It's been an unprecedented year for reports of unruly and violent airline passengers, with the Federal Aviation Administration dealing with hundreds of cases despite announcing in January a new "zero tolerance" policy.

Updated 18 hours ago - Sports

The Olympic events to watch today

Sky Brown of Britain competes in women's park skateboarding. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

5 events to watch today...
  • 🏀 Women's basketball: Spain takes on France in the quarterfinals. Watch at 8 a.m. ET on NBC Sports.
  • 🧗‍♀️ Women's sport climbing: The new Olympic event gets underway at 10 a.m. ET on USA Network.
  • 🏊 Men's swimming: Marathon swimmers race in the 10km open water event at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.
  • 🏐 Women's beach volleyball: Watch Team USA's April Ross and Alix Klineman take on Switzerland in the semifinals at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
  • 🛹 Men's skateboarding: The men's park competition gets underway at 8p.m. ET on CNBC.

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