Amazon's Jeff Bezos launches spacecraft higher than ever

Amazon creator Jeff Bezos has launched his New Shepherd rocket higher than previously

Camera Icon Amazon creator Jeff Bezos has launched his New Shepherd rocket higher than

One such payload including an experiment funded both privately and by NASA, called Solstar, which tested WiFi capabilities in space.

"It's an important test in our march towards flying humans into space, which hopefully will be soon", Ariane Cornell, head of astronaut strategy and sales at Blue Origin, during a company webcast of the test. But the company has not set a firm timetable for the start of crewed test flights, or the launch of commercial services directed at the space tourism and suborbital research markets. Although it did not have any flight passengers yet, two of the flights have included "Mannequin Skywalker", its test dummy.

The climax of the uncrewed test flight came shortly after New Shepard's capsule separated from its booster and switched on its 70,000-pound-thrust escape rocket motor.

Blue Origin is about to preform a critical rocket test.

The ninth New Shepard test took place on July 18 at Blue Origin's facilities in West Texas, with the new generation rocket blasting off from its launchpad at 11 a.m. ET.

Sir Richard Branson founder of Virgin Galactic with his Spaceship Two and White Knight Two carrier aircraft
Blue Origin plans high-altitude escape test on suborbital launch Wednesday

The New Shepard capsule made it to its highest elevation ever by 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) on Tuesday, reaching 74 miles (119 kilometres).

By the seventh test, the campaign featured a new next-generation booster - powered by its BE-3 engine - and the first flight of Crew Capsule 2.0, a spacecraft that featured real windows, measuring 2.4 x 3.6 feet.

If all goes well, the demonstration may well see Blue Origin closer to flying people on brief trips to space.

This is the New Shepard's third suborbital flight test to include commercial payloads, Ars Technica reported prior to the launch, and the second emergency abort test to be carried out on the new launch system. The company says more than 700 people have signed up to fly.

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. The New Glenn will compete with United Launch Alliance's upcoming Vulcan rocket and with SpaceX boosters in the US launch market.

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