For the first time Jeff Bezos' rocket company will send send its New Shepard rocket to its red line at the edge of space and then fire the escape motor on the capsule that will carry passengers.
The New Shepard reusable rocket lifted off from the Washington-based company's suborbital facility in Van Horn, Texas, about 10 a.m.
During that test, the spacecraft's emergency motor was sacked 45 seconds into the flight, at an altitude of 16,000 feet (4,876 meters), slamming the rocket booster with 70,000 pounds of thrust and forceful exhaust.
The booster and capsule - both repeat fliers - landed successfully.
Today's test was meant to assess the crew capsule's emergency abort procedures at high altitude and saw both rocket and spacecraft touch down without any incident, after the two separated about two minutes and 40 seconds after the rocket launch. "We will begin selling tickets sometime after our first human flights and are focused on developing New Shepard", the company said in a statement, CNET reported. Bezos, its founder, heads up Amazon. It was flown once before on Blue Origin in April 2018.
Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic also plans to start flying paying customers to space on suborbital flights.
Eventually, when it's ready to go, Blue Origin hopes to use New Shepard to bring adventurous passengers to sub-orbital space.
Now the promoter of missions to Mars Elon musk has a competitor that can offer the ticket at the lowest price, through which space travel will become available. "We have not set ticket pricing and have had no serious discussions inside of Blue on the topic", the firm said. Bezos has said the company's ultimate goal is to help get millions of people living and working in space.
At this altitude, the sky looks dark and the curvature of the earth can be seen clearly.
After a few minutes of weightlessness, during which passengers can take in the view through large windows, the capsule gradually falls back to earth with three large parachutes and retro-rockets used to slow the spacecraft. "We have a flight test schedule and schedules of those types always have uncertainties and contingencies".More news: EU Urges U.S., Russia, China To Avoid Costly Trade Wars
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