Blue Origin has successfully launched and then landed its New Shepard rocket from the west Texas desert in the US as part of a new round of the rocket’s test flight programme.

This represents the eighth test flight of the New Shepard rocket.

During the test, the reusable rocket carried a crew capsule featuring a dummy named ‘Mannequin Skywalker’, to reach an altitude of 350,000ft, around 5% higher than previous test flights, reported

The flight has enabled New Shepard to reach the globally accepted boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space known as Karman Line.

“Apart from the dummy, various other experimental payloads were featured, including new sensors from Nasa and a demonstration system to offer Wi-Fi in space.”

The test also marks New Shephard’s highest flight and the first to test a crew capsule equipped with acrylic windows.

In order to reach the space, New Shephard flew at a maximum speed of 2,200mph during the latest test, reported After flying for several minutes, the rocket landed safely back on earth at a nearby pad.

Three large parachutes were used to reduce the speed of the crew capsule to 20mph during its landing.

Does civil aviation need nationalisation to survive?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Just before landing on Earth, retro-thrusters installed on the bottom of the capsule fired to facilitate a soft landing.

Apart from the dummy, various other experimental payloads were featured, including new sensors from Nasa and a demonstration system to offer Wi-Fi in space. An experiment comprising ‘water fleas’ to evaluate the impact of microgravity on small invertebrates was also included on the test flight.

The flight was delayed several times due to weather conditions and other issues.

With the latest flight, Blue Origin aims to bring the rocket system to its next level. The rocket system is designed to send tourists to the edge of the space on paid suborbital flights over the upcoming months.