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SYFY WIRE Blue Origin

Blast off! Book your own space flight with Blue Origin’s official New Shepard model rocket

By Benjamin Bullard
blue origin

Okay, maybe it won’t go all the way to space. But like its scaled-up Blue Origin sibling, the newest collectible from model rocket maker Estes is sure to get attention — especially when you fire it up, channel your inner Jeff Bezos, and send it skyward.

Weighing in at 1/66 the size of the Blue Origin New Shepard, Estes’ fully-functioning model rocket comes with the official design pedigree of the Bezos-founded aerospace company…as well as, ahem, the unofficial pedigree of going viral for looking kinda, sorta, maybe even extremely, well...phallic. But hey — most rockets kinda do anyway, don’t they?

When it launched Bezos and three passengers 60 miles into space earlier this summer, the real New Shepard rocket caught plenty of online gawks for its unintentional body part resemblance. But consider that just one more mystique-building bonus of owning your own scaled-down version, which Estes has kitted out in the same feathered-logo livery of its higher-flying counterpart. Plus, it works just as advertised.

Check it out:

Announced for a November debut, the pint-sized New Shepard couldn’t be rolling onto the tiny tarmac at a better time to tap into Blue Origin’s emerging space ambitions. Fresh off its crewed launch with Bezos aboard  in July, an uncrewed New Shepard mission has just now — like, today — made a successful followup launch, blasting off in west Texas for a 10-minute flight that carried both “commercial and NASA-supported payloads on board,” according to the company’s live-feed summary.

Via CNBC, this week’s flight marks Blue Origin’s eighth successful launch for its reusable cargo vessel, though if you’re trying to set your own backyard record with the downsized version, your mileage may vary (hey, no one ever made it to space without taking a few risks.) But should you decide to treat the model rocket like the collectible it is and keep it safely on the display shelf, Estes has you covered with a New Shepard bundle that includes a Porta-Pad II launch pad, an Electron Beam launch controller, a pack of C5-3 engines, and recovery wadding — all of which never have to see the first deployment, if you’re planning to keep your New Shepard in pristine, flight-ready shape.

Real-life flight schedules can be marred by weather, glitchy tech, and even viral wee-wee jokes (okay, that last one probably won’t actually throw a wrench into Blue Origin’s plans.) But the Estes New Shepard has the complete all-clear to lift off on Nov. 1, when the collectible package (already available for pre-order) rolls onto the launch pad for the space budget-friendly price of $109.99.

Estes Rockets Blue Origin Shepard model rocket