“The New Shepard reusable launch system is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), suborbital crewed rocket that is being developed by Blue Origin as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. Blue Origin is owned and led by Amazon.com founder and businessman Jeff Bezos and aerospace engineer Rob Meyerson.
The name New Shepard makes reference to the first American astronaut in space, Alan Shepard, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts, who ascended to space on a suborbital trajectory similar to that planned for New Shepard. Prototype engine and vehicle flights began in 2006, while full-scale engine development started in the early 2010s and was complete by 2015. Uncrewed flight testing of the complete New Shepard vehicle (propulsion module and space capsule) began in 2015. Flights with test passengers were planned for 2018, with commercial passenger flights initially planned to begin in 2018 as well.
On 23 November 2015, after reaching 100.5 km (62.4 mi) altitude (outer space), the New Shepard booster successfully performed a powered vertical soft landing, the first time a booster rocket had returned from space to make a successful vertical landing. The test program continued in 2016 and 2017 with four additional ...