Blue Origin, Amazon founder billionaire Jeff Bezos’s private space company, has successfully completed the latest test flight of its fully reusable passenger launch system, New Shepard, carrying a dummy astronaut in the rocket.
On Sunday, the New Shepard 2.0 rocket climbed off from the Blue Origin’s launch site situated in West Texas at 1:06 p.m. EDT, reaching an altitude of 347,485 feet (approximately 66 miles)—New Shepard’s highest flight till date—before making a new successful landing. You can watch a replay of its live stream below-
There were few hours of delays, with thunderstorms sliding back the launch time (thunderstorms thwarted a 9:45 a.m. EDT) plus countdown holds for last-minute assessments. However, Blue Origin was not denied, and it was capable of successfully carrying out a flawless test flight.
After a successful test launch on December 2017, Sunday’s launch became the second flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard 2.0 rocket and eighth test flight as a whole for the company’s New Shepard program. An earlier version of the New Shepard launched a sequence of missions in the year 2015 and 2016 before it was ruled out.
This target altitude, 66 miles (107 km), was slightly higher than New Shepard’s usual target of 62 miles (100 kilometers), the widely accepted boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, also known as the Kármán line. However, Blue Origin has not yet made it clear how much will it cost to buy a ticket to fly on New Shepard.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 29, 2018
“Another marvelous test mission,” Ariane Cornell of Blue Origin says during a launch webcast. “Everything looks normal from here.”
The Rocket launch, which was scheduled on April 29 at 8:30 a.m. Central Time, was about testing the safety of New Shepard not just in sending humans into to space, yet also in bringing them back to Earth with a safe and comfortable landing.
From liftoff to landing, Sunday’s test flight kept going for around 10 minutes, 19 seconds. In the wake of launching the New Shepard capsule, the booster isolated and came back to its dispatch site, where it made a smooth vertical landing. The capsule fell back to Earth a couple of minutes later, descending on parachutes and cushioning its own landing with the
After over two minutes of vertical ascent, the Rocket, which can carry six people at any given moment, will separate from the rocket as it achieves the edge of outer space, at which point passengers will be experiencing weightlessness. They will likewise be able to see the curvature of the Earth through large windows—the greatest of any spacecraft till date.
Around four minutes after the fact, the capsule will re-enter the Earth’s air and slide towards the surface before landing, in a process that is altogether automated. As well as ferrying space tourists to and from the Kármán line, New Shepard will be accessible to hire in order to carry out investigations.
The booster rocket, on its very second test flight, dropped tail first toward the launch site subsequent to separating from the capsule, re-igniting its engine and discharging four landing legs to securely get back on Earth. The capsule, in the meantime, had an all the more leisurely descent, helped by three major parachutes and rockets for its touchdown.
Also hitching a ride on the New Shepard rocket was a sensor suite for information gathering on the pressure, noise, and other ecological information in the traveler capsule, the Schmitt Space Communicator that will give WiFi to all customers, and different various logical investigations.
Amid Sunday’s dispatch webcast, Cornell said Blue Origin’s first New Shepard customers will get first dibs on those orbital New Glenn spaceflights, however, should sit tight until the 2020s for an opportunity to fly.
Launch preparations are underway for New Shepard’s 8th test flight, as we continue our progress toward human spaceflight. Currently targeting Sunday 4/29 with launch window opening up at 830am CDT. Livestream info to come. @BlueOrigin #GradatimFerociter pic.twitter.com/zAYpAGWB8C
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 27, 2018
Blue Origin made one step nearer to making space tourism a reality with the fruitful eighth experimental drill of the New Shepard rocket and capsule. More test flights for New Shepard are normal in the coming months. If all goes good as per expectations, Blue Origin could conceivably start launching individuals into on New Shepard this year, organization delegates have said.
Blue Origin was established in 2000 by Jeff Bezos with the objective of creating reusable rockets to empower private human access to space while driving down expenses. Right now, apart from New Shepard, the organization is likewise working on a heavy lift orbital rocket called as New Glenn, which is slated for dispatch in 2020.