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New Shepard joins the pantheon of model rockets

Rocket fans will soon be able to follow in Jeff Bezos’ footsteps when it comes to ownership of a suborbital New Shepard space vehicle.

Just be warned that everything will be scaled down: The Blue Origin New Shepard model rocket unveiled this week by Estes Industries will be 1/66th scale, and capable of going up 400 feet rather than 62 miles.

At least the price is scaled down as well: Instead of paying out a billion dollars a year to support Blue Origin’s development program for New Shepard as well as the orbital-class New Glenn rocket and advanced projects, buyers will be asked to shell out a mere $69.99.

Estes is partnering with the Club for the Future, Blue Origin’s educational foundation, to offer New Shepard as a STEM teaching tool. A portion of the sales proceeds will go to the club.

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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