While SpaceX and NASA are the two big American companies that are experimenting and launching objects into our atmosphere, there are some other companies that are also aiming for the stars.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a man of many companies. One of his smaller acquisitions has been the space tourism company Blue Origins, which wants to help make travelling to space a reasonably priced experience. The company quietly launched an unmanned rocket on Thursday. The launch occurred on Blue Origins' private launch facility in Texas.
"The company's latest test flight was much more successful, powering to Mach 3 speeds and reaching a height of 93.6 kilometres. Once the rocket finished firing, its capsule was released, slowed by parachutes and returned safely to Earth," reports New Scientist. The rocket has the ability to hold up to six people, but this particular launch was unmanned for unknown reasons. Not that anyone on board would have had much trouble. "Any astronauts on board would have had a very nice journey into space and a smooth return," writes Bezos in the accompanying press release.
While the launch did go all the way through without the missile exploding, there were some technical issues. "the launch wasn't a total success because a loss of hydraulic pressure meant the firm wasn't able to recover the rocket's propulsion modules as planned," notes New Scientist.
While Blue Origins has done its best to stay off the public radar, it will likely become a common name in the near future. The space tourism company recently signed a partnership with the United Launch Alliance to provide provide rockets for NASA, according to New Scientist.