Jeff Bezos-led Blue Origin is now a step closer to space travel
Blue Origin successfully tested an escape system for space tourists.
July 19, 2018 / 07:01 PM IST
Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin, on Tuesday successfully completed the ninth test flight of its New Shepard rocket from its test facility in west Texas, as per a report in CNET.
The single-stage rocket launched at 10:11 a.m. Central Daylight Time to perform a high-altitude test of an escape motor. It is a safety measure to pull the crew/passenger capsule away from a failing booster.
The capsule separated from the rocket booster at the edge of the space. A few seconds later, the escape motor fired, propelling the capsule laterally away from the main rocket.
The booster landed back in west Texas a few minutes later while the capsule made its way back to the desert floor.
The company said that by firing the emergency motor in the vacuum of space for the first time took things to the next level.
"On Mission 9, we're firing the crew capsule escape motor at the highest altitude ever. We are stressing the rocket to test that astronauts can get away from an anomaly at any time during the flight," Blue Origin spokesperson Ariane Cornell told CNET.
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).
New Shepard is designed to launch, land and be reused. The booster flown on Tuesday has been launched twice previously.
Cornell, during the launch webcast, said launching humans could begin "hopefully after a couple more tests."
Blue Origin has not announced a specific timeline or a price for flying passengers. But reports suggest that a ticket to space could cost anywhere between USD 200,000 and USD 300,000.