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Watch Blue Origin launch its New Shepard spacecraft live right here

Watch Blue Origin launch its New Shepard spacecraft live right here

Today's test was meant to assess the crew capsule's emergency abort procedures at high altitude and saw both rocket and spacecraft touch down without any incident, after the two separated about two minutes and 40 seconds after the rocket launch. That's 74 miles or 119 kilometers. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 350,000 feet (106,680 meters), which was about five percent higher than previous New Shepard test flights.

In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the company's New Shepard capsule lands during a test in West Texas on Wednesday.

One employee said that within weeks, Blue Origin will do the first test in space of its pod escape system, which will propel the flight crew to safety if the booster explodes. Both 2.0 flights carried an instrument-laden dummy that Bezos dubbed "Mannequin Skywalker". A live separation test of the crew capsule from the rocket booster took place, and everything preformed as expected.

Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, aims to send people and payloads into orbit from Cape Canaveral.

Sir Richard Branson founder of Virgin Galactic with his Spaceship Two and White Knight Two carrier aircraft

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic also plans to start flying paying customers to space on suborbital flights.

He is well resourced enough to lead the pursuit of space tourism, and Blue Origin say they are just months away from their first out-of-this-world passenger flights.

Blue Origin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. If this test goes well, Blue Origin's New Shepard program could become operational as early as this year. The rocket takes off, enters sub-orbital space, and comes back to the planet. The company has not publicly revealed how much it will charge for a seat aboard the suborbital vehicle.

From takeoff to landing, the flight took 10 minutes during the latest test. Bezos has said the company's ultimate goal is to help get millions of people living and working in space.

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