Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Jeff Bezos' company will charge $200,000 for a flight to space

Jeff Bezos' company will charge $200,000 for a flight to space

Assuming success Wednesday, the aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos appears to be getting closer to flying humans into space on New Shepard. In addition to testing the "high altitude escape motor", the company promises it is "pushing the rocket to its limits". Its effectiveness is essential to ensuring the safety of any people who might ride aboard the capsule in the future.

After launch, the capsule separated from the rocket just like it should, and then its emergency motor ignited - just as it's supposed to during an emergency situation.

As planned, the high-altitude firing pushed the capsule past the boundary of outer space, to an unofficial maximum altitude of 389,846 feet, or 119 kilometers. Both the booster and the capsule landed safely less than 12 minutes after liftoff, the latter touching down softly on the desert floor under parachutes, sending up a plume of dust. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) from the company's West Texas launch site.

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While this flight was primarily meant to demonstrate the vehicle's escape system, the crew capsule carried eight research and technology demonstration payloads, similar to what the vehicle has done on previous suborbital test flights. (Blue Origin via YouTube) The New Shepard capsule makes its descent.

Blue Origin has not started selling tickets for seats on commercial New Shepard flights, but Reuters reported last week the flight opportunities are expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000.

The launch was webcast live on Blue Origin's website.

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The reusable New Shepard rocket settles to a picture-perfect touchdown.

Blue Origin conducted a successful test flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle July 18 that demonstrated its crew capsule escape system. "We are really curious how microgravity affects the structure and properties of things, and we hope this flight will help us understand the science behind it", said James Yenbamroong, chief executive and founder of mu Space, in a preflight statement. "It's coming", she said. "But we've got our eyes on the prize". The experiment will record vehicle conditions including cabin pressure, temperature, CO2, acoustic conditions, and acceleration. The company says more than 700 people have signed up to fly.

Blue Origin is developing a much bigger rocket, called New Glenn, as an orbital launcher. The New Glenn will compete with United Launch Alliance's upcoming Vulcan rocket and with SpaceX boosters in the USA launch market.

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