Launched today from Texas with six passengers, including Laura Shepard Churchley, the daughter ofthe firstAmerican to reach space, and flying intospace sixty years after her father‘s historic flight, JeffBezos‘ BlueOrigin rocket was launched from Texas.
This is the third manned flight of the space ventureby Jeff Bezos, who made the trip himself with thefirst launchin July.
The rocket took off at 09:01 Texas local time (17:01GMT) for a flight that lasted a few minutes. Thecapsuleatop the fully autonomous six-storeyspacecraft rose to an altitude of about 106kilometres before returning toEarth, descendingwith deployed parachutes to land softly in the desert. The rocket, on its side, automaticallyreturned andlanded on a track.
The entire flight, from take-off to landing, lasted justover 10 minutes to an hour. The crew foundthemselves fora few minutes in zero gravityconditions.
It was the first time the capsule of the New Shepardrocket, named after Laura Shepard Churchley‘sfather, theAmerican space pioneer Alan Shepard, was complete. On the previous flights there wereonly four passengers.
Also aboard the capsule today were a US celebrity, TV host and former American football playerMichaelStrahan, and four passengers who had paid for thetrip: businessmen Dylan Taylor and Evan Dick andafather and his child, Lane and Cameron Bess, 23. Theticket price is not known.
The rocket took off vertically and at an altitude ofabout 75 kilometres the capsule was separated, whichcontinued its journey until it reached analtitude of more than 100 kilometres, where theCarman line that marksthe beginning of spacebegins, according to the international convention.
Passengers were able to unbuckle their seat belts, spend a few minutes in zero gravity and admirethecurvature of the earth through very large portholes.