Jeff Bezos' Unmanned Spaceship Blows Up

Amazon founder's ship is destroyed in test flight
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2011 6:04 PM CDT
Jeff Bezos' Unmanned Spaceship Blows Up
Amazon's Jeff Bezos walks to a morning session at the annual Allen & Co. Media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, Friday, July 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' plans to develop a space taxi have taken a big hit after an unmanned spaceship from his Blue Origin company went ka-boom on a test flight, reports the Wall Street Journal. Few details are known about what happened, other than it's a setback for both Bezos and the White House, which is hoping that private companies can develop commercial spacecraft to ferry astronauts (and tourists) into space in a matter of years.

Bezos is one of three wealthy entrepreneurs working on such a venture, along with Richard Branson and Elon Musk. The recent crash of a Russian supply rocket for the International Space Station only makes the matter more pressing. Unless engineers find and fix the problem with the Soyuz rocket quickly, it's possible the ISS will have to go unmanned for the first time in a decade. (More Jeff Bezos stories.)

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