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Bezos' Blue Origin completes third passenger spaceflight

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By Euronews  with AP
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Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket launches carrying six passengers passengers from its spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021
Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket launches carrying six passengers passengers from its spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021   -   Copyright  LM Otero/AP Photo

Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket blasted off from Texas on Saturday sending six passengers into space.

Two VIP guests and four paying customers soared to an altitude of 106 kilometres, providing a few minutes of weightlessness before parachuting into the desert.

US television celebrity Michael Strahan and the daughter of America's first astronaut were among the passengers.

"It was surreal...it was unbelievable. It's hard to even describe it," said Strahan after the flight.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who flew to space in the same capsule, accompanied the six passengers to the launchpad and greeted them afterwards.

Saturday’s launch marks the last one this year by private US companies as space tourism takes off.

Virgin Galactic kicked it off in July, sending up its billionaire founder, Richard Branson, followed by Blue Origin and SpaceX.

So many are flying that the US Federal Aviation Administration announced it will no longer designate who is a commercial astronaut or give out wings.