The 57-year-old billionaire Bezos, who was aboard the maiden crewed flight of his own spaceship in July, posed at the launch site for photographs and closed the hatch after the crew entered the capsule about an hour before the 9.49am CT (3.49pm BST) blast-off into the clear blue Texas sky.

The 57-year-old billionaire Bezos, who was aboard the maiden crewed flight of his own spaceship in July, posed at the launch site for photographs and closed the hatch after the crew entered the capsule about an hour before the 9.49am CT (3.49pm BST) blast-off into the clear blue Texas sky.