Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket will conduct its ninth test flight on Wednesday with a short hop pushing the vehicle to its limits - in order to satisfy safety parameters, whilst also carrying numerous payloads in the capsule.
New Shepard performed as expected during today's flight, appearing to ace the test, Cornell said.
"It's an important step in our march in flying humans into space", Ariane Cornell, the Blue Origin launch broadcaster, said prior to the launch.
Although there weren't any people aboard this test flight, Blue Origin's test dummy, Mannequin Skywalker, was strapped in a chair to measure the gravitation forces a real body might experience during a somewhat violent abort. Blue Origin representatives have also not responded to any queries about its programs and pricing scheme.
The solid-fuel "pusher" abort motor, built by Aerojet Rocketdyne with subsystems provided by Blue Origin, is created to quickly ignite on command from flight controllers or an on-board computer if safety software detects an impending booster malfunction, rapidly propelling the capsule and its crew away from the rocket with a jarring burst of acceleration.
The test required sending the capsule up to between 390,000 and 400,000 feet (roughly 120 kilometers), then waiting for about 20 seconds for the booster to clear, ensuring that its exhaust wouldn't interfere with the capsule test.
Meanwhile, Blue Origin's crew capsule coasted into space and safely re-entered the atmosphere before deploying parachutes to land.
The reusable New Shepard booster is created to take off from a launch pad, climb to the internationally-recognized boundary of space at an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers), and land nearby with rocket thrust and aerobrakes.
Executives at the company, which was started by Bezos in 2000, said the company planned to launch test flights beginning next year, Reuters reported.
With its booster on its landing pad in the background, the New Shepard crew capsule descends to touchdown after its dramatic test flight. "We haven't set a price".
Other items aboard the flight include a NASA-funded vibration damping system to allow for more precise experiments in microgravity, an assortment of scientific, medical and textile materials from the Thai startup mu Space, and an allotment of mementos and other items provided by Blue Origin employees. The company says more than 700 people have signed up to fly.
This launch was the ninth for the New Shepard program, and the third for this particular combination of crew capsule and propulsion module.
Blue Origin is developing a much bigger rocket, called New Glenn, as an orbital launcher.