Blue Origin to push New Shepard safety regime with ninth test

19 July, 2018, 07:46 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • Blue Origin to push New Shepard safety regime with ninth test

Blue Origin is owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.

From its desolate West Texas launchpad, Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin launched another reusable rocket into space, and then successfully landed both the rocket booster and the large-windowed crew capsule.

Several NASA payloads are riding along, such as SFEM-2 - which was first flown on Mission 8 of New Shepard, and will collect additional data on Mission 9.

"Anything could have happened today, and this is the best possible outcome", launch commentator Ariane Cornell said. (Blue Origin via You Tube) New Shepard's capsule fires its retros as it touches down for a landing.

As it continues to progress toward human flights, Blue Origin will perform another potentially unsafe uncrewed test today of its New Shepard rocket and spacecraft.

The reusable New Shepard rocket settles to a picture-perfect touchdown.

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In a brief statement announcing Wednesday's flight, Blue Origin offered no further details on the objectives or the technical parameters for the planned high-altitude escape motor test.

A sensor-equipped test dummy nicknamed Mannequin Skywalker sat in one of the capsule's seats.

Numerous payloads will be flying in the spacecraft during the test, ranging from global customers, such as Thailand's "mu Space-1" - which includes an assortment of scientific and medical items, several textile materials they plan to use on their future space suit and apparel, and other special articles for their community partners - through to a suite of payloads from Blue Origin employees as a part of their internal "Fly My Stuff" program. In addition to testing the "high altitude escape motor", the company promises it is "pushing the rocket to its limits".

Many have wondered over the last few years how much a ticket on Blue Origin's New Shepard space vehicle will cost. "Just another day at the office", she said.

The launch was pulled off without a hitch: both the booster and the crew capsule returned to Earth.

Eventually, up to six passengers at a time could get on board the New Shepard spaceship, which flies under autonomous control. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development. "We have not set ticket pricing and have had no serious discussions inside of Blue on the topic", said the statement.


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