Latest Blue Origin Launch Tests Space Exploration Technologies

Selected for flight test by NASA's Flight Opportunities, numerous payloads on this New Shepard flight aim to provide value to other payloads on future flights. The entire mission lasted 11 minutes and 17 seconds.

New Shepard has flown eight test missions to date, all of them uncrewed. "We will begin selling tickets sometime after our first human flights and are focused on developing New Shepard", the company said in a statement, CNET reported.

The New Shepard capsule made it to its highest elevation ever by 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) on Tuesday, reaching 74 miles (119 kilometres). Although it did not have any flight passengers yet, two of the flights have included "Mannequin Skywalker", its test dummy.

Sir Richard Branson founder of Virgin Galactic with his Spaceship Two and White Knight Two carrier aircraft
Blue Origin plans high-altitude escape test on suborbital launch Wednesday

After a few minutes of weightlessness, during which passengers can take in the view through large windows, the capsule gradually falls back to earth with three large parachutes and retro-rockets used to slow the spacecraft. Central Daylight Time to perform a high-altitude test of an escape motor. Blue Origin accomplished a low-altitude abort test with a previous version of the New Shepard vehicle in October 2016, proving the capsule's solid-fueled abort motor could get passengers away from a catastrophic in-flight failure. The company has not publicly revealed how much it will charge for a seat aboard the suborbital vehicle.

For instance, NASA flew an experiment created to measure the conditions inside the crew capsule during the flight test, whereas Santa Fe company Solstar, which also had cargo on New Shepard's Mission 8, tested out its Wi-Fi access during the new mission. There are also science experiments from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Purdue University, and Otto von Guericke University and Olympiaspace in Germany.

One employee said that within weeks, Blue Origin will do the first test in space of its pod escape system, which will propel the flight crew to safety if the booster explodes. The New Glenn could launch on its maiden flight from Cape Canaveral by the end of 2020.

  • Joey Payne