(dpa) – Blue Origin, the private space company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has launched a reusable rocket successfully for the 15th time.
“Blue Origin successfully completed its 15th consecutive mission to space and back today and conducted a series of simulations to rehearse astronaut movements and operations for future flights with customers on board,” the firm said Wednesday.
“This mission marked a verification step prior to flying astronauts,” according to the statement.
The test was carried out from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas.
The rocket with attached capsule reached a height of around 105 kilometres before it returned to Earth.
For the first time, Blue Origin personnel standing in as astronauts entered the capsule prior to launch and conducted a series of tests from within the capsule.
After the crew capsule landed, the astronauts rehearsed post-flight procedures, hatch opening, and exiting the capsule.
Blue Origin is one of several companies currently experimenting with reusable spacecrafts. Such rockets and capsules could make travel into space cheaper.
Bezos founded Blue Origin around 20 years ago. The company plans to use the “New Shepard” rocket to take private customers into space for a short period of time. A precise schedule for this has not yet been announced.