A space company owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has finished work on a rocket engine for a suborbital spaceship and expects to begin flight tests this year, Blue Origin officials said on Tuesday.
The so-called New Shepard spaceship is designed to fly three people and/or a mix of passengers and payloads to altitudes about 62 miles (100 km) above Earth. It will launch from Blue Origin’s west Texas facility near Van Horn, Texas, southeast of El Paso.
Testing and development of the rocket engine, called BE-3, has been completed, the last major milestone before the liquid oxygen- and liquid hydrogen-fueled motor is attached to the New Shepard capsule for flight, Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson told reporters on a conference call.
Privately owned Blue Origin has not started selling tickets for flights on New Shepard or released pricing information.
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