Tech by VICE

Watch Blue Origin Test Its Rocket Escape System for Rich Space Tourists

This is the first test for the escape system in the vacuum of space.

by Daniel Oberhaus
Jul 18 2018, 2:54pm

Image: Getty

While SpaceX has been stealing headlines for the past year for launching a car into space and landing multiple rocket boosters at the same time, Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin has been quietly working to prepare its own rockets for human passengers.

Earlier this month, Blue Origin announced it would begin sending passengers to space as early as next year for around $200,000 apiece. Before that happens, however, it needs to make sure all of the safety mechanisms on its suborbital New Shepard rocket meet NASA’s standards for human spaceflight.

Today, the company will perform a high-altitude escape motor test to ensure that the crew capsule motor can safely function in the vacuum of space. It is the first time that the motor system has been tested in space. Although no crew members will be inside the capsule for the test, the rocket will carry a number of small commercial payloads on its flight.

You can watch the launch live below: