Private US Space Firm Blue Origin Tests Lunar Landing Technology on Unmanned Flight
© AP Photo / Patrick SemanskyJeff Bezos speaks in front of a model of Blue Origin's Blue Moon lunar lander, Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Washington
© AP Photo / Patrick Semansky
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The private space firm Blue Origin on Thursday launched its first flight since company founder Jeff Bezos and three other amateur astronauts flew to the edge of outer space in July.
Instead of carrying humans, Thursday’s flight sent aloft a crew capsule equipped with commercial and NASA playloads, the company said via Twitter.
“The mission elapsed time was 10 min 15 sec and the max ascent velocity was 2,232 mph / 3,592 km/h,” the company said following a desert landing by the booster in the US state of Texas, with the capsule touching down nearby moments later beneath a canopy of parachutes.
The flight included a demonstration of NASA-supported lunar-landing technologies, with sensors meant to ensure a precise landing on the moon mounted on the booster, the company added.
Blue Origin, one of three companies bidding to make a lunar lander, recently filed a lawsuit against the US government over NASA's decision to award the $2.9 billion contract to rival firm SpaceX.