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Blue Origin's Next Flight Will Crash-Land On Purpose: Jeff Bezos

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The sky's the limit, and Jeff Bezos and his team at Blue Origin are ready to test just that.

As soon as the private spaceflight company finishes its preparations for a test flight, the New Shepard spacecraft will embark on a journey that will put its abilities to the test.

The Blue Origin crew will attempt to crash-land the empty space capsule on purpose.

But why would anyone do that? Bezos says their goal is to demonstrate the spacecraft's ability to handle such scenarios safely.

"It promises to be an exciting demonstration," says Bezos.

With the success of the company's launches and landings, Bezos knows that when manned missions begin, safety is the top priority.

During manned missions, New Shepard crew and passengers will make the trip inside the space capsule attached to the rocket. The capsule can carry up to six people at a time.

So in the meantime, Blue Origin will test how the empty space capsule would perform under risky conditions.

Bezos says they plan to stress the crew capsule. One of the vehicle's three parachutes will intentionally fail. The remaining parachutes and a retro-thrust system will slow the capsule's descent.

Additionally, the team hopes for a soft landing.

Bezos says one of the fundamental creeds of the company is that the safest vehicle is one that is well-understood and robust. He says each mission offers them the chance to learn and improve the modeling of their vehicles.

No date has been set yet for the mission, but Bezos promises to release further information soon.

New Shepard is Blue Origin's flagship rocket. The company hopes to send tourists to space in 2018 through the reusable rocket.

These journeys, should they happen, will only be brief. Blue Origin plans to offer just about four minutes of weightlessness in space just before it launches back to our planet.

Space passengers will pass what is known as the Karman line, a boundary 62 miles above the Earth that marks the beginning of "space," but they will not be going into orbit.

New Shepard has been flown and landed successfully three separate times now. What separates Blue Origin from its rival SpaceX, Elon Musk's brainchild, is that Bezos is trying to accomplish the same goal but at a lower cost through reusable rockets.

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