Spaceship’s retirement marked with a tortoise

Blue Origin tortoises
A worker at Blue Origin stencils the seventh and last tortoise onto what Jeff Bezos calls a “hardy and stalwart” New Shepard space capsule. (Credit: Jeff Bezos via Twitter)

After seven launches, Blue Origin’s first New Shepard suborbital space capsule is getting a send-off from the company’s founder, Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos.

To celebrate Oct. 5’s successful in-flight escape test in West Texas, Blue Origin’s team stenciled “the 7th and final tortoise” onto the capsule’s hatch, Bezos said today in a tweet.

The tortoise serves as the mascot for Bezos’ space venture, apparently in reference to the race between the tortoise and the hare in Aesop’s Fables. “In the long run, deliberate and methodical wins the day,” Bezos explained last month in an email.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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