Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

  • Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

Thai company mu Space, which ordered a launch of Blue Origin's New Glenn orbital rocket in 2017, included a package with several experiments from universities and organizations in Thailand. Once the booster separated, the capsule's escape motor fired, lifting the spacecraft to an altitude of 389,846 feet. Its effectiveness is essential to ensuring the safety of any people who might ride aboard the capsule in the future.

Two successful abort tests were carried out earlier, one from ground level in 2012 and a second at mid-level altitudes during a 2016 test flight.

On Wednesday's flight, Blue Origin says it will push the New Shepard rocket to its limits with a high-altitude escape motor test.

The launch was pulled off without a hitch: both the booster and the crew capsule returned to Earth.

Blue Origin's New Shepard spaceship blasts off for a high-altitude escape system test.

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic also plans to start flying paying customers to space on suborbital flights.

Blue Origin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

New Shepard's reusable booster comes in for a landing.

During the test flight, the rocket was loaded up with both the Blue Origin test dummy - nicknamed Mannequin Skywalker, which took its third flight to space today - and a host of science payloads.

Unlike SpaceX, which thus far has largely focused on sending cargo into space as opposed to humans, Blue Origin is leading the charge on space tourism and crewed missions.

After that, the capsule's experiments enjoyed about five minutes of weightlessness as the spacecraft arced over at the top of its trajectory before plunging back into the discernible atmosphere.

Numerous payloads will be flying in the spacecraft during the test, ranging from worldwide customers, such as Thailand's "mu Space-1" - which includes an assortment of scientific and medical items, several textile materials they plan to use on their future space suit and apparel, and other special articles for their community partners - through to a suite of payloads from Blue Origin employees as a part of their internal "Fly My Stuff" program.

The company's Florida team was watching today's webcast, as was the team at Blue Origin's headquarters in Kent, Wash., where New Shepard hardware is manufactured. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development.

Blue Origin has yet to announce when it will start taking reservations or how much flights will cost.

"Just another day at the office", said Cornell.