(NEW YORK) — Jeff Bezos’ space company successfully launched its 10th rocket into space from its West Texas facility Wednesday morning, inching the company further toward its goal of commercial space flight.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard mission — named after Alan Shepard, the first American in space — brought eight NASA payloads into space before returning successfully to earth. Like SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private space company, Blue Origin is dedicated to reusable rockets to lower the cost of launches.
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) January 23, 2019
Wednesday’s launch, which started at 9:05 a.m. Central Standard Time, lasted just over 10 minutes.
“That gets me every single time,” Blue Origin executive Ariane Cornell said during the live stream of the rocket’s ascension. It hit a force of acceleration of 3Gs and an altitude of 350,000 feet, or 66 miles, before returning to Earth.
“That’s exactly what we were targeting,” said Cornell.
The company hopes to execute its first crewed flights before the end of this year, Cornell said during the livestreamed rocket launch.
The rocket stuck its landing perfectly, successfully completing its fourth mission to space and back, Cornell said. The unattended crew capsule, which housed eight NASA experiments, briefly experienced weightlessness on the edge of space before it also returned to Earth.
Bezos has said previously that his goal is to “build a road to space.”
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