The aerospace company, Blue Origin, headed by Amazon.com chief Jeff Bezos, conducted a successful test of an emergency escape function on Wednesday. It aimed at saving space travellers’ lives in case of catastrophe.
The rocket took off from a Texas launch pad, unmanned capsule separated in mid-air about 45 seconds after liftoff, at a height of some 16,000 feet.
Supported by an escape motor beneath the capsule, the spacecraft tossed and tumbled a bit before floating back to Earth with the help of parachutes.
“All astronauts on board would have had a pretty exhilarating ride, but a safe ride,” said a commentator on Blue Origin’s live webcast. Bezos said the force of the capsule’s escape would likely spell the end for the booster, or the portion of the rocket that propels the capsule to space.