Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket completed its 10th uncrewed test flight today (Jan. 23) during a smooth launch from chilly West Texas — but the company is eyeing a crewed flight later this year, according to statements made during today's launch broadcast.
That timeline is becoming clearer after a December road trip brought the company's fourth rocket, the first rated for human passengers, to its launch facility in West Texas. New Shepard is the company's reusable, suborbital rocket designed for space tourism flights; the company is also designing a larger, heavy-lift rocket called New Glenn, which is scheduled to debut in 2021.
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Blue Origin's uncrewed New Shepard rocket and capsule stand atop a West Texas launchpad ahead of a Jan. 23, 2019 launch carrying experiments for NASA.