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Blue Origin’s rocket gives test dummy a ‘great ride’

Blue Origin booster
Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster touches down in Texas after a successful test. (Blue Origin Photo)

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos says his space venture, Blue Origin, launched the latest version of its New Shepard suborbital spaceship today for the company’s first test flight in 14 months, with an instrumented test dummy seated aboard.

“He had a great ride,” Bezos said tonight in a tweet.

The uncrewed, straight-up, straight-down trip was conducted at Blue Origin’s testing ground in West Texas. The video that Bezos included with his tweet showed the New Shepard blasting off and rising above a wide-open spread of ranchland.

In addition to the dummy, which was nicknamed “Mannequin Skywalker,” the New Shepard crew capsule carried 12 commercial, research and educational payloads, Blue Origin said.

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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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