VAN HORN, TX - If you thought the Lone Star State is out of the outer space business, think again. The "New Shepard" rocket was just tested in West Texas and it could be the world's first reusable rocket.
The "New Shepard" is named after Alan Shepard, Jr. the first American in space. It was built by a company called Blue Origin, a private space-flight venture owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Blue Origin is trying to design a rocket that can land back on earth and be used again. At the test flight, the unmanned rocket launched well enough, and flew to an altitude of 58 miles. The crew pod, where astronauts would theoretically be sitting, successfully detached and landed back on earth gracefully.
But the attempted landing of the rocket itself did not go as well. The company didn't release video of that failed landing, but the rocket likely went up in flames.
Blue Origin hopes to one day fly passengers into space. That could once again make Texas the gateway to space.