Blue Origin launches capsule to space with astronaut perks

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CAP CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin launched a new capsule into space on Thursday to test all the benefits of astronauts before people roll up.

Thursday’s flight with a model named Mannequin Skywalker lasted 10 minutes and reached 106 miles over West Texas. The New Shepard rocket and capsule landed successfully.

It was the 14th flight to the edge of space for a New Shepard rocket. The first was in 2015.

“The success of this flight really brings us closer to the flying astronauts,” said Ariane Cornell, commentator on the launch, from the company’s headquarters in Kent, Washington. “There will be a lot of fun coming in 2021.”

Blue Origin plans to launch paying passengers – tourists, scientists and professional astronauts – for brief hops over the remote West Texas desert. He’s also working on a larger rocket, New Glenn, which would take off from Cape Canaveral as well as a lunar lander for astronauts as part of NASA’s Artemis lunar program.

The soaring capsule on Thursday featured the latest crew upgrades: microphones and pushbuttons for all six seats, wall panels to dampen engine noise, a safety alert system and temperature controls and humidity to keep passengers comfortable and large windows free. resourceful.

The launch and landing team has been reduced due to the pandemic.

New Shepard is named after the first American in space, Alan Shephard. New Glenn pays homage to John Glenn, the first American in orbit.

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The Associated Press’s Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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