It’s been a huge secret for several years. Amazon.com’s founder Jeff Bezos has a rocket company on the side called Blue Origin. But that’s pretty much all we knew.
Well, now we know more. The Blue Origin website has been updated with photos and videos of the new Goddard rocket, which blasted off on November 13, 2006 from the West Texas launch facility. For its maiden voyage, the rocket launched vertically, reached an altitude of 87 metres (285 feet), and then landed back down vertically on the launch pad.
Goddard looks like just the nose cone from a much larger rocket, and it will eventually carry paying passengers to the edge of space – an altitude of 100 km (62 miles).
Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log has a great write up of the event.