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Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital vehicle launch

Blue Origin conducts test launch in Texas

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.