Blue Origin Goddard
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Blue Origin Goddard is the name of the first development vehicle in the Blue Origin New Shepard program, which flew for the first time on November 13, 2006. Named after rocketry pioneer Robert Goddard, the vehicle is a subscale demonstrator and flew at a 285 ft altitude during its initial flight. The private spacecraft venture is being funded by the billionaire founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos.
He hopes that the private spacecraft could eventually bring space travel within the reach of the masses. A video of the cone-shaped Goddard vehicle shows it climbing to about 85 m (285 ft) before returning to Earth, in a remote part of Texas.
The flight marks the first time Jeff Bezos has broken his silence on the work of his space company, Blue Origin. 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." Mr Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the intention of developing a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, 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.
The video filmed on 13 November 2006 from a site about 120 miles east of El Paso in Texas shows the first craft to launch under the New Shepard program. The vehicle climbed for approximately 10 seconds, reaching a height of 285 ft, before starting to descend and making a controlled landing back on its feet approximately 25 seconds after take-off. The launch, described by Mr Bezos as "both useful and fun", was watched by friends, family and a team of engineers.[full citation needed]
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