Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

It's another launch day for Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, as the spaceflight company launches its curiously phallic New Shepard rocket toward the stars for a test flight.

"On Mission 9, were firing the crew capsule escape motor at the highest altitude ever". The company just completed its eighth test mission last April.

The high-altitude emergency abort test is created to figure out what may happen when there's a problem with the launch rocket, according to Engadget. That's 74 miles or 119 kilometres.

This was the third trip to space for both this New Shepherd rocket booster and the crew capsule, both created to be reusable like SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster and Dragon capsules.

Blue Origin is testing its New Shepard rocket for the ninth time.

While this test was unmanned, the reusable rocket is created to deliver payloads - and potentially tourists - to sub-orbital space. Unlike NASA's Mercury and Apollo spacecraft, which jettisoned their escape rockets before reaching orbit, Blue Origin's is built into the capsule.

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

Although Blue Origin is yet to provide details, it is understood the company has already purchased the first landing ship for returning New Glenn boosters.

Wednesday's passenger was Mannequin Skywalker, plus science experiments. (Blue Origin via You Tube) New Shepard's capsule fires its retros as it touches down for a landing.

However, executives said they haven't set a price yet, according to CNET. "But we've got our eyes on the prize". "At Blue Origin, we're all about safety", she said.

For Wednesday's flight, the spacecraft was loaded with a variety of experiments, including instrumentation provided by NASA to measure pressure, acoustics, acceleration and other factors, a WiFi experiment, a study of how fine particles interact in random collisions and another NASA experiment to learn more about how water droplets behave in microgravity. If successful, the demonstration is expected to move the company a step closer to flying people - first its own employees, then paying passengers - on trips to space lasting several minutes, offering the experience of weightlessness and spectacular views. The hardware used in previous tests has been retired and put on exhibit at Blue Origin's Florida rocket factory, where the orbital-class New Glenn rocket will be built.

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