Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft flew for NASA’s biggest mission. The New Shepard (fully reusable) launched into space today(Jan. 23) on its 10th-ever test flight. Blue Origin officials said, “It carried at least eight NASA-sponsored research and technology payloads to suborbital space and back.” The mission reached an altitude of 66 miles (107 kilometers) in 10 minutes and 15 seconds.
The mission began at 10:05 a.m. EST (1505 GMT), when the New Shepard rocket-capsule duo lifted off from Blue Origin’s West Texas test site. The rocket soon came back down to Earth for a vertical touchdown, and the capsule followed suit with a parachute-aided landing on the dusty Texas plains.
“Absolutely spectacular flight!” Blue Origin’s Ariane Cornell, director of astronaut and orbital sales, said in the live commentary as New Shepard landed successfully. “That, everybody, is a reusable rocket.”
Launch Photos! The images are from the space.com.