The capsule soaring Thursday featured the latest crew upgrades: microphones and push-to-talk buttons for the six seats, wall panels to muffle engine noise, a safety-alert system, and temperature and humidity controls to keep passengers comfortable and the big windows free of fog.
The launch and landing team was scaled back because of the pandemic.
New Shepard is named for the first American in space, Alan Shepard. New Glenn honors John Glenn, the first American in orbit.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
This story was first published on Jan. 14. It was updated on Jan. 15 to correct the spelling of Alan Shepard’s last name.
In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the company's RSS First Step capsule uses parachutes for landing after a test flight in West Texas on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Blue Origin via AP)