Blue Origin completes first human test spaceflight
U.S. aerospace company Blue Origin completed its first test spaceflight with founder Jeff Bezos onboard, marking a giant leap forward for the company's commercial suborbital spaceflight tourism ambi-tions.
The company's spacecraft New Shepard lifted off at about 8:12 a.m. Central Time on Tues-day (1312 GMT) from its West Texas test site.
Four people flew onboard New Shepard, including Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, former American aviator Wally Funk and Blue Origin's first paying customer Oliver Daemen.
The vehicle was launched to an altitude of about 100 kilome-ters from Earth, where the pas-sengers experienced several minutes of weightlessness. The craft then descended under parachutes and landed again in the West Texas test site.
The entire flight lasted roug-hly 10 minutes. The booster touched down separately. It is the third succe-ssful landing for this rocket and the first to carry four private citizens to space above the Kar-man Line - the internationally recognized boundary of space, according to Blue Origin.
It was New Shepard's 16th flight to space and its first cre-wed flight.