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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

Sep 19, 2021 - Science

Elon Musk pledges $50 million toward Inspiration4 fundraiser for St. Jude

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pledged $50 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hours after the Inspiration4 crew splashed down on Saturday.

Why it matters: The all-civilian spaceflight was created, in part, as a fundraiser for St. Jude to raise $200 million. The mission had received $100 million from billionaire Jared Isaacman, who purchased the flight, and raised an additional $60.2 million before Musk's contribution, according to CNBC.

Everyone wants to be an influencer

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The number of people looking to become online influencers has exploded during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Almost anyone can find themselves in a position to become an influencer, and brands are throwing billions of dollars at online content creators.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.

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