Bezos' Blue Origin test flies new-generation New Shepard vehicle

Updated 2017-12-14 15:03:11 Xinhua

Blue Origin, the U.S. aerospace company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said it conducted a successful test flight of a new version of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle on Tuesday, with an instrumented test dummy on board.

In a statement issued early Wednesday, the company said New Shepard, a booster-capsule combo, flew for the seventh time at 11:59 a.m. EST (1659 GMT) from its West Texas Launch Site.

It marked the first time the company flew its next-generation booster and the new crew capsule, known as Crew Capsule 2.0, which features large windows, measuring 2.4 feet wide, 3.6 feet tall (0.73*1.10 meters).

Crew Capsule 2.0 reached a maximum altitude of 99.39 kilometers, just shy of the internationally recognized 100-kilometer boundary of space, while the booster reached a maximum altitude of 99.27 kilometers.

Bezos tweeted that there was an instrumented test dummy on board and that "he had a great ride."

In addition to the test dummy, the mission also carried 12 commercial, research and education payloads.

New Shepard is a reusable vertical takeoff, vertical landing space vehicle, consisting of a pressurized capsule atop a booster.

It's being developed by Blue Origin as a commercial system capable of carrying a crew of six for suborbital space tourism.

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