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Blue Origin’s prototype space tourism capsule looks plush and roomy

If you’re loaded with money and rather like the idea of a trip to the edge of space, then Blue Origin is probably on the list of companies you’re currently considering for your ride of a lifetime.

Founded by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin has been making steady progress with its New Shepard reusable rocket system that will one day take space tourists on unforgettable suborbital adventures. With a growing number of successful unmanned missions under its belt, the company is hoping to launch the service as early as 2018.

As Blue Origin moves ever closer to the first human test flights of its system, expected later this year, Bezos this week released several images offering a glimpse of the kind of comfort paying passengers can expect to enjoy during their trip.

Blue Origin capsule
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The plushly designed capsule, which looks suitably science fiction, features six comfy-looking reclining seats positioned close to the large windows so the tourists can enjoy a view like no other. “Every seat’s a window seat, the largest windows ever in space,” Bezos said in an email update on Wednesday.

The seats will become temporarily redundant when the capsule reaches a spot 62 miles (100 km) above the surface of the Earth, as the passengers will be permitted to unbelt and have some fun floating idly about in a weightless environment.

Speaking at the Space Symposium event in Colorado Springs last year, Bezos described the kind of experience Blue Origin space tourists can expect.

“We want people to be able to get out, float around, do somersaults, enjoy the microgravity, look out of those beautiful windows,” he said, adding that the training for the trip would be “relatively simple.”

Blue Origin is yet to reveal how much it’ll cost to go on its 12-minute suborbital adventure, though rival outfit Virgin Galactic has been charging around $250,000 for reservations aboard its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

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Trevor Mogg
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