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MIT Technology Review

Blue Origin is a step closer to taking space tourists after it landed its rocket again

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A Blue Origin New Shepard rocket taking offA Blue Origin New Shepard rocket taking off

It’s part of the company’s preparations to start flying humans later this year.

The mission: The uncrewed flight took off from a facility in west Texas on May 2, 2019. It’s the 11th test flight and the fifth time this specific reusable rocket has flown to space and back. It flew 38 payloads, including science experiments for schools, universities, and government agencies.

The grand plan: Blue Origin, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, plans to eventually take tourists into space. Specifically, it will take them 62 miles (100 kilometers) up, where they can experience a few minutes of zero gravity before returning to Earth.

This year: Blue Origin hopes to start taking humans into space by the end of 2019. It’s likely that the first to try out the service will be Blue Origin employees, but it hopes paying passengers will follow. We still don’t know how much a ticket will cost, but reports say it’s likely to be around the $200,000 mark.

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