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Blue Origin aims to launch first New Shepard rocket in over a year

A Blue Origin New Shepard rocket lifts off with a crew of six from Launch Site One in West Texas on Dec. 11, 2021.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

The moment of the anomaly during the New Shepard cargo mission NS-23, in which the booster’s engine failed.

Blue Origin

The New Shepard rocket launches from Blue Origin’s private facility in West Texas, carrying people and payloads above 100 kilometers, or more than 340,000 feet, for a couple minutes of weightlessness. The capsule is flown autonomously, with no human pilot, and floats down with the assistance of a set of parachutes to land in the Texas desert. The New Shepard rocket booster is reusable, returning to land on a concrete pad near the launch site.

To date, Blue Origin has flown 31 people past the edge of space with New Shepard.

Space tourism is a niche market, so why are Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Blue Origin betting on it?

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