News

Video: Blue Origin flies New Shepard rocket for eighth time

Video credit: Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster, topped with a capsule carrying a dummy dubbed Mannequin Skywalker, took off Sunday from the company’s sprawling test site in West Texas on a 10-minute trip to the edge of space and back.

The hydrogen-fueled rocket lifted off from the test site near Van Horn, Texas, at 12:06 p.m. CDT (1:06 p.m. EDT; 1706 GMT) Sunday, soared to an altitude of 351,000 feet (107 kilometers), then descended back to Earth, slowed by wedge fins and a throttleable BE-3 main engine for a gentle touchdown a couple of miles from the New Shepard’s launch pad.

A crew capsule fastened to the top of the single-stage rocket separated and made its own descent back to Earth, deploying parachutes and firing retro-rockets for landing on the desert floor.

The test flight was another check-up for Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket before the company eventually flies test pilots, and ultimately paying passengers, on the vehicle.

Sunday’s mission was the eighth flight of a New Shepard booster, and the second of the company’s third reusable New Shepard vehicle, which debuted in December.

Read our full story for details on the mission.

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.