Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin firm launched a brand new cartridge into area Thursday to check all of the astronaut perks before individuals strap in.

Thursday’s flight using a dummy named Mannequin Skywalker lasted 10 minutes and attained 66 miles (106 km ) over West Texas. The New Shepard rocket as well as the capsule landed successfully.

This was the 14th trip into the fringes of space to get a New Shepard rocket.

“The achievement of the flight puts us really major step closer to flying astronauts,” launching commentator Ariane Cornell said from company headquarters in Kent, Washington. “There is likely to be a whole lot of fun ahead in 2021.”

Blue Origin intends to start paying passengers — tourists, scientists and specialist astronauts — on short hops over West Texas’ distant desert. It’s also working on a larger rocket, New Glenn, that could burst from Cape Canaveral in addition to a lunar lander to get astronauts under NASA’s Artemis moon app.

The capsule soaring Thursday included the newest crew updates: microphones and push-to-talk switches to both chairs, wall panels to muffle engine noise, a safety-alert system, and humidity and temperature controls to keep passengers comfortable and the huge windows free of fog.

The launching and landing group was scaled back due to the pandemic.

New Shepard is known for its very first American in space, Alan Shepard.


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This story was published on Jan. 14. It was upgraded on Jan. 15 to fix the spelling of Alan Shepard’s name.