VAN HORN, Texas (AP) - A private space company founded by Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has launched an unmanned spaceship in its first test flight, the latest development in the commercial space race.
Bezos said in a statement the New Shepard capsule reached 58 miles high and parachuted to a landing in the west Texas desert. The rocket booster developed a pressure problem and couldn't be recovered.
Bezos' Blue Origin, which is vying to send people on suborbital trips, tends to be secretive but released video and photos of the flight.
Jeff Bezos Rocket test launch blue origin new shepard
Bezos' secretive space company launches unmanned test flight
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos just launched his first rocket into space, via @ben_rooney.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' space company just tested its first rocket http://t.co/BslZua4eVD http://t.co/HzwiibINfo
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin and Amazon.com, speaks at a press conference to announce the new BE-4 rocket engine during a press conference with Tory Bruno, CEO of United Launch Alliance, at the National Press Club September 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin announced today that they have entered into an agreement to jointly fund development of the BE-4 rocket engine. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Its website says New Shepard, which can carry at least three people, aims to eventually fly over 62 miles above Earth, the recognized boundary of space.
Last year, competitor Virgin Galactic lost its spaceship when it disintegrated during a test, killing the co-pilot.