Long Islanders watch Bezos’ launch into space at Garden City’s Cradle of Aviation

Spectators gathered at Garden City’s Cradle of Aviation to witness Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' launch into space Tuesday.

News 12 Staff

Jul 20, 2021, 11:54 AM

Updated 1,009 days ago

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Spectators gathered at Garden City’s Cradle of Aviation to witness Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' launch into space Tuesday.
Bezos, the world’s richest person, jetted into space using a Blue Origin capsule.
The spaceport was built by Bezos’ company in the West Texas desert.
The flight lasted 10 minutes and 18 seconds. It appeared to go off without a hitch as it surpassed the 62-mile mark. In fact, the company says the capsule reached 66.5 miles before returning to earth.     
Bezos traveled with his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk and an 18-year-old student from the Netherlands named Oliver Daemen.
The launch set a record for both the oldest and youngest person to fly to space. It happened nine days after Richard Branson flew on a similar suborbital trajectory.
Bezos says his expectations were already high but were “dramatically exceeded.”
Those who gathered to watch the rocket launch were some of the brilliant minds that built the Lunar Module for NASA's Apollo Missions.
Among them was 86-year-old Ross Brocco, who worked as an engineer for Grumman and designed the front door hatch on the LEM.
Brocco tells News 12, "We came up with the ideas that were never thought of before - visiting a planet that's 240 thousand miles away…It's amazing we thought of Buck Rogers when we were kids and now we are Buck Rodgers.”
David Lang is retired from the Air Force and was just a kid in Great Neck during the Apollo Missions. He says watching today's successful mission was thrilling.
“I'm over 50, and I'm still, you know, giggly about this whole thing going on. So, I can only imagine young kids dreaming,” says Lang. “I'm just excited for the future, so this is fun for all of us.”
Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, plans to develop a larger rocket called New Glenn, along with a spacecraft that would fly astronauts to the moon’s surface.
The Blue Origin rocket was launched on the anniversary of the 52nd moon landing, which is a big part of Long Island's legacy.


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