The commercial space company Blue Origin, in cooperation with the American aerospace agency NASA, launched an unmanned reusable suborbital rocket into space, and then landed it at the launch site in West Texas.
It took 12 minutes to fly the launch vehicle to an altitude of about 100 kilometers to and from the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space and allowed testing of a number of new technologies, including two precision descent and landing sensor systems. They are capable of avoiding potential hazards in the landing zones and can be used in future lander missions to the Moon and Mars.
The flight also tested a six-person autonomous capsule developed by Blue Origin, which is designed for future commercial passenger flights. According to the company, this capsule contains the largest portholes of any spacecraft ever built. Once in space, the capsule separated from the launch vehicle to continue its flight in a separate mode. It is assumed that its future passengers will spend in space, in a state of zero gravity, up to ten minutes.
The reusable rocket, named New Shepard after the first American cosmonaut Alan Shepard to travel to space, made an automatic landing at a spaceport in Texas. Shortly thereafter, the crew capsule landed on three large parachutes.
The capsule was loaded with equipment for various experiments and other payloads, as well as postcards sent by children from all over the country.
Blue Origin is owned by American investor and entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, founder and president of Amazon.com Corporation.