Amazon CEO’s private spaceflight company Blue Origin has sent its suborbital New Shepard rocket into space.
It’s Blue Origin’s first test flight in more than a year, but this development shows that Jeff Bezos is still committed to his space tourism ambitions. They want to use the New Shepard rocket to send paying customers to space as early as 2019. But before they’ll be allowed to do that, they first have to conduct a series of unmanned test flights.
So they’ve sent a dummy, cleverly called Mannequin Skywalker, on a test spaceflight. They’ve even released a video of it, so viewers can watch the dummy go to space and back. You don’t get a good sense of what the weightlessness looks like, because the mannequin is strapped into its chair, but you get an idea of what the ride will be like during future test launches.
Bezos also shared a video on Twitter of the company’s new landing pad robot that it’s calling Blue2D2.