APTOPIX Blue Origin Bezos

Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket launches carrying passengers Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin, his brother Mark Bezos, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk, from its spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

WASHINGTON  — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is less than impressed by billionaire Jeff Bezos' trip into space.

The billionaire Amazon founder and richest person in the world blasted into space Tuesday on his rocket company’s first flight with people on board, becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft.

Bezos was accompanied by a hand-picked group: his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space. “Best day ever!” Bezos said when the capsule touched down on the desert floor in remote West Texas after the 10-minute flight, according to the Associated Press.

Sanders and some other progressives question the personality driven space ventures of the super rich including Bezos, Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk and British tycoon Richard Branson (who also went into space this month) when some of those same billionaires and their businesses take advantage of tax breaks and loopholes.

"Let us celebrate when we eradicate poverty, provide health care for all, abolish homelessness, combat climate change, provide universal pre-K,” Sanders said in a social media statement. “Let us not celebrate when: Billionaires who avoid taxes and exploit workers take a vacation to outer space.”

Bezos' blastoff drew all kinds of media and social media attention including popular culture and movie references related to the rocket as well as the cowboy hat worn by the Amazon founder turned entertainment and space mogul.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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