New Shepard is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing, crew-rated suborbital launch vehicle developed by Blue Origin as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. Blue Origin is owned and led by Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos. The name New Shepard makes reference to the first American astronaut in space, Alan Shepard, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts, who ascended to space in 1961 on a suborbital trajectory similar to that of New Shepard. Prototype engine and vehicle flights began in 2006, while full-scale engine development started in the early 2010s and was complete by 2015. Uncrewed flight testing of the complete New Shepard vehicle began in 2015. On 23 November 2015, after reaching 100.5 km altitude, the suborbital New Shepard booster successfully performed a powered vertical soft landing, the first time a suborbital booster rocket had returned from space to make a successful vertical landing.