Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shows off NS-15 rocket on social media

New Shepard suborbital rocket booster completed another successful test on Wednesday

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos posted a picture on Instagram standing next to his space company's New Shepard suborbital rocket booster after another successful flight test on Wednesday.


In a short caption, the billionaire wrote, "It’s time. #GradatimFerociter." Gradadtim Ferociter is Blue Origin's motto and is Latin for the expression: "Step by Step, Ferociously."

Bezos also included two videos of the company's 15th consecutive mission to space, dubbed NS-15. 

In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the New Shepard capsule uses parachutes to land during a test in West Texas on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Blue Origin via AP)

The uncrewed New Shepard blasted off from a West Texas launchpad at Blue Origin’s Launch Site One at 12:50 a.m. ET Wednesday.

"A huge congrats to the entire Blue Origin team on another successful #NewShepard launch. #GradatimFerociter," Blue Origin tweeted following booster and capsule touchdown.

In an accompanying news release, Blue Origin said the 10-minute, 10-second test flight was used to "rehearse astronaut movements and operations for future flights with customers on board" and that the suborbital launch marked a "verification step" prior to flying with astronauts on board.

"For the first time, Blue Origin personnel standing in as astronauts entered the capsule prior to launch. These astronauts conducted a series of tests from within the capsule, including a comms check with the capsule communicator (CAPCOM), procedures for entering and exiting the capsule, and pre-launch preparations within the capsule," it wrote. "Following the crew capsule landing, the astronauts rehearsed post-flight procedures, hatch opening, and exiting the capsule."

In this photo made available by Blue Origin, Audrey Powers gives a thumbs up inside the New Shepard rocket capsule during a crew rehearsal in West Texas on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Two employees were strapped into the fueled rocketship for practice

However, it noted that while the capsule remained uncrewed for the flight, test dummy Mannequin Skywalker was on board for the ride as well as more than 25,000 postcards from the organization's nonprofit Club for the Future.

In the future, Blue Origin aims to launch as many as six civilian passengers and The Verge reported on Wednesday that the New Shepard missions had been gradually testing new hardware to cater to humans. 

While the company has not announced when it will fly humans for the first time, human test flights were initially expected at the end of last year. 


Bezos announced in February that he would be stepping down from his position as Amazon CEO, transitioning to a role as the e-commerce giant's executive chairman of the board.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.