Shares of rocket tech company Blue Origin rocketed to new heights on Monday after the company said it expects its New Shepard rocket to launch for the first time before the end of the year.
The tweet came from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, which is currently working on a spaceflight vehicle, called New Shepard, that could eventually carry six passengers up to 100,000 feet altitude to experience a few minutes of weightlessness. The vehicle is designed to eventually send payloads of several hundred pounds into suborbital space. The company also announced that it has completed the fourth in a series of eight missions of using its New Shepard to fly a capsule to low-Earth orbit (LEO). Blue Origin has not revealed the payload it successfully put into orbit but stated that the mission “meets a growing demand for ‘affordable access to space,’” the company says.
Blue Origin first filed plans for the launch vehicle in 2013, according to The Verge.
Over the past few years, questions have been raised about whether it is possible to build a passenger-carrying space vehicle. Most recently, in June, a Russian Soyuz rocket made its first landing in a decade, under the Chinese company OneWeb. Following the attempt at a recovery, the US Department of Commerce announced a review of possible American trade sanctions on Russia.
While Blue Origin has not yet divulged if the suborbital launch of New Shepard will be conducted by New Shepard, its CEO noted that it is expected before the end of the year.
No Blue Origin customers have been announced. In an interview with The Verge, Emily Lanzner, editor-in-chief of Blue Origin’s website, stated that Blue Origin is “looking to start working with folks on the cost issue” as it gets closer to its launch.
Read the full story at The Verge.
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