Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

Rosemary Collier
July 19, 2018

Rocket Company Blue Origin successfully launched a test rocket at its launch facility in West Texas Wednesday. Like most vertical rockets, the New Shepard is created to take off upright from a launchpad at Blue Origin's facilities in West Texas. After reaching the edge of space, the capsule separated from the rocket booster and a few seconds later the escape motor fired, propelling the capsule laterally away from the main rocket.

It's part of a safety system meant to save lives once space tourists and others climb aboard for suborbital hops. Then, both the capsule and rocket fall back to Earth.

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Wednesday's passenger was Mannequin Skywalker, an instrumented dummy in a blue flight suit that's flown before, plus science experiments.

The entire mission took less than 12 minutes to unfold, with the capsule hitting a maximum speed of 3598 kilometers per hour and height of 119 kilometers. "Great engineering and the lucky boots worked again".

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Blue Origin has yet to announce when it will start taking reservations or how much flights will cost. "It's coming", she said. Bezos, its founder, heads up Amazon.

It is one of the New Shepard's most critical test to date, which has demonstrated a key safety feature for space tourists and scientists riding on the company's future rockets.

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