Blue Origin, the secretive aerospace company bankrolled by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, is planning a rocket test today high over the west Texas desert. According to a directive from the Federal Aviation Administration, airspace today has been cleared up to 18,000 feet above sea level “due to rocket launch activity.”
The Register uncovered the document, noting that the “parameters of today’s test suggest another low-altitude trial flight.” However, they note that the company is working on “reusable boosters capable of coming in to land intact after hurling payloads into orbit.”
Blue Origin has kept a pretty low profile over the years, operating from its newly-renovated 280,000 square foot headquarters and work space in Kent. Earlier this year, we reported that the company won $22 million in NASA funds.
Blue Origin also received funds for a crew spacecraft, and what msnbc.com described at the time as a “pusher launch abort system.”
In 2007 following another test of Blue Origin spacecraft, Jeff Bezos explained the mission of the company.
“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,” he wrote. “Accomplishing this mission will take a long time, and we’re working on it methodically.”
Meanwhile, in other space-related news, Naveen Jain’s Moon Express announced today that it has successfully demonstrated a critical component of its lunar landing technology to NASA.
UPDATE: Since some readers are having a hard time accessing the FAA link, here’s a screen grab of it.
Previously on GeekWire: Branson, Allen, Bezos gear up for the private space race