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Jeff Bezos touts Blue Origin flight test results

Image: Blue Origin's bumpers
A photo taken after last month’s flight test of Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship highlights the ring of crushable bumpers on the underside of the crew capsule. (Credit: Blue Origin via Jeff Bezos)

Last month’s test flight of a Blue Origin rocket ship to space and back was aimed at seeing how safely it could land even if one of its three parachutes went out. Today, the results got a thumbs-up from Jeff Bezos, who’s the founder of the Blue Origin space venture as well as the Amazon online retailing giant.

“We’ve designed the capsule to ensure astronaut safety not just for the failure of one parachute, but even for the failure of two parachutes,” Bezos said in an email update that was addressed to fans and potential spacefliers.

The rocket ships are built at Blue Origin’s production facility in Kent, Wash., and then shipped down to the company’s suborbital launch complex in West Texas.

The uncrewed flight test was conducted June 19. New Shepard rocketed up just beyond the 100-kilometer (62-mile) boundary of outer space. Then the booster fired up its rocket engine again for a vertical landing, while the crew capsule made a separate descent to Earth.

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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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