Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

19 Julio, 2018, 02:54 | Author: Enrique Watson

The company's New Shepard rocket blasted off Wednesday on a test flight from West Texas.

Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin launched its New Shepard rocket for the ninth time.

The propulsion module, about 30 meters away from the crew capsule when the motor fired, was unaffected by the test and made a powered vertical landing on a pad near the launch site. Maximum ascent velocity was listed at 2,236 miles per hour.

The test required sending the capsule up to between 390,000 and 400,000 feet (roughly 120 kilometers) and then waiting for about 20 seconds for the booster to clear, ensuring that its exhaust wouldn't interfere with the capsule test.

"It's an important step in our march in flying humans into space", Ariane Cornell, the Blue Origin launch broadcaster, said prior to the launch.

New Shepard's reusable booster comes in for a landing.

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Unlike SpaceX, which thus far has largely focused on sending cargo into space as opposed to humans, Blue Origin is leading the charge on space tourism and crewed missions. (Blue Origin via YouTube) Blue Origin sketches out the flight plan for "Mission 9".

More than half a dozen scientific payloads were packed inside as well, plus mementos from Blue Origin employees that were included as part of an internal "Fly My Stuff" program. "Mannequin had a smooth, smooth landing".

But if all goes well, she said, "it's going to be a sweet ride".

The booster and capsule - both repeat fliers - landed successfully. In the event of an emergency, the rocket would light up to push the capsule and its crew out of harm's way (although the acceleration of up to 10 G's would make for a rough ride). "Great engineering and the lucky boots worked again". "We are really curious how microgravity affects the structure and properties of things, and we hope this flight will help us understand the science behind it", said James Yenbamroong, chief executive and founder of mu Space, in a preflight statement. Wednesday's flight tested the system at high altitude, just after the booster's BE-3 engine shut down following a smooth climb out of the thick lower atmosphere.

Blue Origin is expected to conduct several more uncrewed tests in the months ahead, leading up to the first flight with Blue Origin's test astronauts. The flight of experiment was arranged Olympiaspace, a European "commercial space agency" that took care of logistical and regulatory matters for the payload.

Blue Origin has yet to announce when it will start taking reservations or how much flights will cost.


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