Blue Origin launches capsule to space with astronaut perks

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company has launched a new capsule into space to test all the astronaut perks before people strap in. Thursday’s flight lasted 10 minutes and reached 66 miles in altitude. This newest New Shepard rocket blasted off from West Texas, carrying a capsule with a test dummy on board. Both the rocket and capsule landed successfully. The capsule featured the latest crew upgrades: cabin speakers and microphones, wall panels to muffle engine noise, a safety-alert system, and temperature and humidity controls. A spokeswoman says the company is getting close to flying passengers, but did not say when that might occur.