Today was the day for Jeff Bezos.
The Amazon founder is the latest billionaire to go into space. Aboard a rocket engineered by his own Blue Origin private aerospace firm, Bezos and his small crew blasted off at 8 a.m. local time from the launchpad in West Texas.
The exclamations of Bezos and his fellow space tourists (Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and Oliver Daeman) through the choppy audio feed will serve as the best sort of advertisement to anybody who wants to take a brief trip to the Kármán line, aka the border between Earth and space, where there's no gravity. Just as had occurred in many test flights before over the years, the rocket booster landed back on Earth on its landing pad with slow assurance from its reverse thrusters.
"You have a very happy crew up here I want you to know," Bezos said, as the capsule dropped toward the Earth at more than 200 mph before its three parachutes bloomed for a soft landing on the Texas dirt:
“Best day ever!” Bezos exclaimed once the capsule landed on Earth after traveling to an apogee of 351,210 feet.
“That was only about five minutes!” exclaimed Funk, age 82, who waited more than 60 years to go to space. Funk perhaps offered the biggest downside to what’s likely to be a very expensive, very short trip for any future Blue Origin customers.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, warming is making heatwaves more deadly.
Here’s everything you need to know about this historic event. Richard Branson, another billionaire, made his own trip to the edge of space earlier this month, aboard his own craft, engineered by his own company. (These billionaires and their space!)
How did Bezos get to this point? We’ve run down the timeline of 10 moments that led to this day. As for Elon Musk, he’s got a ticket aboard Branson’s spacecraft and is offering backhanded compliments to Bezos. Never change, Elon. On second thought, maybe do change.
I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief at Inverse, and this is Inverse Daily. The Inverse mission is to share big ideas about science and innovation in an entertaining style and look at entertainment and culture with deeply curious methods.
Mailbag — What’s in your apocalypse bag? You know, the backpack you carry when the world ends. Take the anonymous survey here. We’ve had more than 2,700 respondents so far! There are only a few more days to vote, so get in your end-times advice now!
The arrival of summer is an assault on all your senses — the brush of tall grass on bare legs, the whistle of a far-off lifeguard, and if you’re a kid (or a kid at heart), lots and lots of ice cream and grilled treats.
Every fiber in your being screams that you should forget your worries, load up your burger with all the toppings, and cannonball into the closest body of water.
- Science debunks the biggest myth about plant-based meat
- Scientist debunks the most confusing myth about eating fat
- Food scientist debunks a dangerous myth about washing chicken
The creepy Boston Dynamics video, explained — Boston Dynamic robots are known for busting a move — from vintage dances to hanging out with BTS. But as Sarah Wells writes, the dances have another purpose behind them:
It’s one thing to have your cabbage patch or running man shown up by Zoomers on TikTok, but it’s another level of embarrassment to have a robot outdance you.
- You need to watch the most underrated robot sci-fi movie on Amazon Prime ASAP
- Robots are learning to smile and it's making humans cringe
- The future of sports is algorithms, not athletes
If you’ve ever lumped kombucha in with other buzzy foods boasting dubious health claims — think gluten-free cookies or agave nectar — it may be time to reconsider.
- A link between fungi and gut health may mean a treatment for inflammation
- Scientists say these 4 kinds of food could save your life
- A link between the gut and diet may mean a cure for an incurable disease
NASA Viking 1: One piece of “controversial” tech changed how we see Mars forever — On the anniversary of NASA's Viking 1 lander touching down on Mars 45 years ago, Jon Kelvey interviews two scientists who explain why the legacy of its cameras lives in Perseverance rover:
Humans first opened their eyes on the surface of Mars 45 years ago, on July 20, 1976 — or at least, a surrogate pair of eyes anyway.
That’s the date NASA’s Viking 1 lander survived the first soft landing ever to occur on the Red Planet and began taking photos with its two mechanical scanning cameras, their digital outputs trickling bit by bit across the more than 50 million kilometers back down to viewers on Earth.
What we saw changed the course of space exploration forever.
More news on Mars:
- SpaceX: The key to getting to Mars could come from an unlikely source
- Zhurong rover footage and more: Understand the world through 9 images
- Mars Perseverance rover wouldn't exist without these 6 groundbreaking missions — look
- About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow me on Twitter at @nicklucchesi, if for no other reason than to get Inverse headlines in your timeline and a few other Inverse-y things.
- Before we go: Sandra Oh (50; pictured above), Carlos Santana (74), Gisele Bundchen (41), Jaclyn Hill (31), Omar Epps (48) (Source: AP.)