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Blue Origin will start live-streaming spaceflights

Image: Blue Origin launch
Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship lifts off for a test in January. (Credit: Blue Origin)

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.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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