Jeff Bezos’s space company launched a rocket Wednesday, another significant step in the burgeoning private-sector space race.
In a statement, Bezos, who founded Amazon.com and owns The Washington Post, said the engine “flawlessly” powered the unpiloted New Shepard spacecraft through its first developmental test flight. The rocket reached Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound, and an altitude of 307,000 feet, or 58 miles, very close to what’s largely considered the threshold of space.
“Any astronauts on board would have had a very nice journey into space and a smooth return,” Bezos said. “In fact, if New Shepard had been a traditional expendable vehicle, this would have been a flawless first test flight.”