Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launched its first mission of 2020 today, flying a New Shepard sub-orbital rocket from its West Texas testing facility. This particular rocket has flown a total of seven times including today, and this is now the 13th flight of a New Shepard vehicle overall. Today’s launch included a test of NASA’s active landing sensor system, which will be used to build an autonomous, precise and flexible landing system for future Moon landing vehicles.
The NASA landing system test also marks a first for Blue Origin – the first time it has tested flying a payload on the outside of New Shepard. To date, all New Shepard payloads have traveled inside the capsule atop the booster, but the external test