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Photos: Glimpses of Secretive Blue Origin's Private Spaceships

Sunset Over Blue Origin Test Stand

NASA/Lauren Harnett

The sun sets over a test stand at Blue Origin’s West Texas facility. [See video of the rocket engine test here]

Blue Origin’s Test Stand

NASA/Lauren Harnett

Blue Origin’s test stand, back right, is framed by a wind mill at the company’s West Texas facility. The company used this test stand to fire its powerful new hydrogen- and oxygen-fueled American rocket engine, the BE-3. [See video of the rocket engine test here]

New Shepard Crew Capsule Escaping

Blue Origin

The New Shepard Crew Capsule escaped to an altitude of 2,307 feet before deploying parachutes for a safe return. Image released Oct. 22, 2012.

Crew Capsule After Touchdown

Blue Origin

With touchdown 1,630 feet from the launch pad, Blue Origin completed a successful test of its Crew Capsule escape system. Image released Oct. 22, 2012.

Blue Origin's Test Vehicle at Mach 1.2

Blue Origin

Blue Origin's second test vehicle, a suborbital launch vehicle, soars through Mach 1.2 at 45,000 feet in this image released by the secretive private spaceflight company. This image was taken in August 2011 right before the thrust termination system activated, resulting in the loss of the vehicle, company officials said.

Blue Origin 'Short Hop' Test Flight Launch

Blue Origin

This view of Blue Origin's second test space vehicle shows the suborbital rocket during a successful summer 2011 "short hop" test flight, according to company officials.

Blue Origin 'Short Hop' Test Flight Landing

Blue Origin

This view of Blue Origin's second test vehicle shows the suborbital rocket just before landing during a 2011 "short hop" test flight, which was successful, according to a company status update.

Blue Origin's Second Test Vehicle on the Pad

Blue Origin

This photo shows the second test vehicle built by the secretive private spaceflight company Blue Origin as it appeared on the launch pad after a smooth "short hop" test in 2011.

Blue Origin: New Shepard Vision

Blue Origin

An early prototype vision for Blue Origin's New Shepard vehicle for suborbital spaceflight.

Secretive Space Vehicle Tested at Private Texas Site

Blue Origin

A flight test of the prototype "Goddard" vehicle at Blue Origin's launch site in West Texas.

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.