For his next trick, Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos plans to have his Blue Origin space venture send its New Shepard rocket ship into outer space and back with one bum parachute on Friday – and live-stream the whole thing.
Allowing live video of a rocket launch and landing is old hat for the likes of rival billionaire Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX, but Blue Origin has never done it before. Bezos’ announcement indicates that the once-secretive company is becoming more comfortable sharing its accomplishments with the public as they happen.
Friday will mark the fourth go-around for this particular New Shepard suborbital vehicle at Blue Origin’s West Texas testing ground. The first suborbital flight test was done last November, followed by similarly successful outings in January and April. Each time, a booster powered by Blue Origin’s hydrogen-fueled BE-3 rocket engine sent an uncrewed space capsule to a height beyond 62 miles, the internationally accepted boundary of outer space.