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Amazon founder’s space firm in 15th successful test of reusable rocket

HANDOUT - This handout photo shows the New Shephard crew capsule descending from space on Mission NS-15 on April 14, 2021 Handout (Credit Origin Blue Photo: Erich Braunsperger/dpa
HANDOUT – This handout photo shows the New Shephard crew capsule descending from space on Mission NS-15 on April 14, 2021 Handout (Credit Origin Blue Photo: Erich Braunsperger/dpa

(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.

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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.

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