Video: Blue Origin flies New Shepard rocket for eighth time

Video credit: Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster, topped with a capsule carrying a dummy dubbed Mannequin Skywalker, took off Sunday from the company’s sprawling test site in West Texas on a 10-minute trip to the edge of space and back.

The hydrogen-fueled rocket lifted off from the test site near Van Horn, Texas, at 12:06 p.m. CDT (1:06 p.m. EDT; 1706 GMT) Sunday, soared to an altitude of 351,000 feet (107 kilometers), then descended back to Earth, slowed by wedge fins and a throttleable BE-3 main engine for a gentle touchdown a couple of miles from the New Shepard’s launch pad.

A crew capsule fastened to the top of the single-stage rocket separated and made its own descent back to Earth, deploying parachutes and firing retro-rockets for landing on the desert floor.

The test flight was another check-up for Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket before the company eventually flies test pilots, and ultimately paying passengers, on the vehicle.

Sunday’s mission was the eighth flight of a New Shepard booster, and the second of the company’s third reusable New Shepard vehicle, which debuted in December.

Read our full story for details on the mission.

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