Bezos' Blue Origin completes successful test flight, 307,000 ft high

Jess Bezos, founder of Amazon, has a couple of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin. His latest rocket, the New Shepard, just pulled off a full hat trick with its first successful test flight, reaching an apogee of 58 miles high (307,000 ft) with a peak speed of three times the sound barrier. This especially good news for Bezos in light of Elon Musk's Falcon-9 rocket's blundered landing attempt for SpaceX.

New Shepard's successful test mission was unmanned, but in the future it will carry crew members and possibly space tourists through the atmosphere. The test flight was under 6 minutes, but Blue Origin wants to use a different flight plan for tourists, clocking in at 10 to 15 minutes, with 4 to 5 minutes in zero gravity.

The test flight wasn't without its mishaps. The BE-3 booster engine is designed to be reusable when it nails an elusive vertical landing. This time, the propulsion module's hydraulics lost pressure during the descent, damaging the rocket and making it a single-use device.

This well cut video shows incredible close-up footage of the prep, launch, and shuttle separation of New Shepard's first test flight.

Then, check out this hypnotizing video that tracks the entire 6 minute flight from a distance. Watch everything from take-off and separation to the parachute landing in the West Texas desert.

Source: Popular Science