Development Flight, and We are Hiring

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 05 Jan 2007 12:31:00 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Jeff Bezos at Blue Origin - The Amazon founder's single-stage to orbit spaceship had its maiden flight, going up 485 feet and landing back on the launch pad. There are a few videos on the page, and a sales pitch for Amazon's S3 (Simple Storage Service), which hosts the page and the videos. Looks very promising. The BBC has an article on the flight. [robert]

Mr Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the intention of developing a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, called New Shepard, able to take passengers to the edge of space.

No timescale for commercial trips has been announced but documents released by the US Federal Aviation Administration suggest they could start as early as 2010.

The latest videos show there is still a lot of development work to do before the company reaches that stage.

The footage shot on 13 November 2006 from a site about 200km (120 miles) east of El Paso in Texas shows the first craft to launch under the New Shepard programme.

Called Goddard, the retro-looking development vehicle is shown standing on four legs before blasting off in a cloud of smoke from thrusters on its base. The vehicle continues to ascend for approximately 10 seconds, reaching a height of nearly 300ft (90m).

It then starts to descend before making a controlled landing back on its feet approximately 25 seconds after take-off.

Blue Origin Spaceship

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