The New Shepard rocket and capsule system developed by US billionaire Jeff Bezos has had to abort a mission mid-flight over the Texas desert.
The rocket experienced what appeared to be a propulsion failure about one minute after leaving the launch pad.
A motor pushed the capsule clear, enabling it to make a soft return to the ground with the aid of parachutes.
New Shepard regularly carries people, but on this occasion the only payload was a batch of zero-G experiments.
The incident occurred at an altitude of just over 28,000ft (8.5km) while the vehicles were moving upwards at 700mph (1,120km/h).