Private spacecraft launches

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Private spacecraft launches

This is an unusual rocket, there is sound but no flames when it takes off, great machine for spooking locals as a UFO :)

The billionaire founder of has released the first images of the launch of a private spacecraft that could bring space travel to the masses.

A video of the cone-shaped Goddard vehicle shows it climbing to about 85m (285ft) before returning back to Earth.

The test launch took place in November 2006 in a remote part of Texas, but details have only now been released.

The images mark the first time Jeff Bezos has broken his silence on the work of his space company, Blue Origin.

Writing on the company's website, Mr Bezos said: "We're working, patiently and step-by-step, to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go; and so that we humans can better continue exploring the Solar System."

"Accomplishing this mission will take a long time, and we're working on it methodically."

Short trip

Mr Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the intention of developing a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, called New Shepard, able to take passengers to the edge of space.

No timescale for commercial trips has been announced but documents released by the US Federal Aviation Administration suggest they could start as early as 2010.

Article and video here
By netchicken: posted on 5-1-2007

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