THE rocket company owned by the world's richest man has shot a capsule higher into space than it's ever done before.
On Wednesday's flight, Blue Origin says it will push the New Shepard rocket to its limits with a high-altitude escape motor test.
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 reusable New Shepard booster is created to take off from a launch pad, climb to the internationally-recognized boundary of space at an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers), and land nearby with rocket thrust and aerobrakes.
One employee said that within weeks, Blue Origin will do the first test in space of its pod escape system, which will propel the flight crew to safety if the booster explodes.
A crew capsule mounted on top of the New Shepard rocket will carry experiments and a dummy nicknamed "Mannequin Skywalker" to simulate the experience passengers will see on future flights.
Blue Origin plans high-altitude escape test on suborbital launch Wednesday
The booster landed back in west Texas a few minutes later while the capsule made its way back to the desert floor. It was the ninth test flight and lasted 11 minutes.
Amazon founder Bezos started the Blue Origin in 2000.
With this latest success, Blu Origin is inching its way until its first crewed test flight, which the company expects to take place later this year, after a "couple more tests", noted Cornell.
Blue Origin representatives did not respond to requests for comment on its programs and pricing strategy. The company has not said what the price of the tickets would be.
According to Bezos, in a capsule will separate cabins for each member of the expedition, as well as the portholes upright.
But in comments to AFP, the company struck a more cautious note.