Commercial space company Blue Origin is conducting is latest rocket launch from north of Van Horn, TX this morning.
Watch a live-stream of the launch from the company below.
The company previously announced it would perform an “in-flight escape test” during the launch – essentially, a test of the New Shephard space vehicle’s crew capsule escape system.
Blue Origin’s billionaire owner Jeff Bezos recently said in an email today’s escape system test would “probably destroy” the company’s reusable rocket booster, which is seeing its fifth flight today.
“The booster was never designed to survive an in-flight escape,” Bezos said. “The capsule escape motor will slam the booster with 70,000 pounds of off-axis force delivered by searing hot exhaust.”
If the rocket booster somehow does survive today’s flight, the company plans to retire it from flight.
If the rocket survives, Bezos said “we will in fact reward it for its service with a retirement party and put it in a museum.”
Bezos has promised that today’s flight will be “dramatic, no matter how it ends.”