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Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital vehicle launch

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin company launched its New Shepard suborbital vehicle from West Texas as part of a test flight Wednesday afternoon, and successfully landed the rocket and capsule separately a short time later.

Blue Origin plans to launch paying passengers — tourists, scientists and professional astronauts — on brief hops over West Texas' remote desert. It's also working on a bigger rocket, New Glenn, that would blast off from Cape Canaveral as well as a lunar lander for astronauts under NASA's Artemis moon program.

New Shepard is named for the first American in space, Alan Shepard.