Blue Origin has released a new video showcasing the breathtaking views people riding in its suborbital spaceship would get.
The private space travel company is gearing up to send people on short trips to space and back to give them a short experience of weightlessness in zero gravity.
For this, Blue Origin recently demonstrated the vertical launch and landing capabilities of its New Shepard rocket, which went up to an altitude of 322,032ft with the recently upgraded 'Crew Capsule 2.0' – the craft which will sit on top of the rocket with a crew of six 'paying customers' inside.
Though the crew capsule and the rocket are still being developed and there are a number of tests before any such ride could take place, the recent demonstration gives us a quick glimpse into the future of space tourism or what flying to the edge of space and back would be like.
The capsule was launched with a test dummy, dubbed "Mannequin Skywalker", strapped on to one of the seats. As the rocket blasted off and soared towards orbit, Skywalker's entire ride – including the stunning views from the capsule's massive windows – got recorded by the onboard cameras.
The rocket lifted off slowly but soon soared towards orbit with a max speed of Mach 2.94. After the first few minutes, the mountains and the typical blue skies disappear and we get to see near-black suborbital space and a curving Earth below.
Soon after the reaching the maximum altitude, the craft then began its return journey. It separated from the booster at an altitude of about 6,500ft and made a soft ground landing using parachutes. You can see the mountains coming back into view as the craft came down.
After the test's successful completion, Jeff Bezos described in a tweet the short period of weightlessness that comes just before the descent.
Bezos added that human passengers will not have the same experience as Skywalker, but an even better one. "Unlike him, you'll be able to get out of your seat during the zero gee part of the flight.
"And ignore the pinging sound – it's just from one of the experiments on this flight," he added.
Blue Origin is still months, or maybe even years, away from its first passenger flight, but if this video is anything to go by, we are pretty convinced that the first customers to go on a short trip to space would be in for a treat.
For now, the company will go ahead with a series of tests, with test pilot flights taking place sometime around next year.