Successful Blue Origin Rocket Test in West Texas

19 July, 2018, 17:19 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Blue Origin New Shepard launch

The flight will be Mission 9 for the company, and will feature a "high altitude escape motor test" which the company says will "push the rocket to its limits".

After launch, the capsule separated from the rocket just like it should, and then its emergency motor ignited - just as it's supposed to during an emergency situation.

The capsule parachuted down to the desert floor after reaching roughly 7,000 feet of altitude. Such systems are created to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency. The test is scheduled to begin at 10 am EDT (14:00 UTC) at the company's West Texas launch site.

The test campaign began in 2015, and despite the loss of the first booster, the second flight in November 2015 kick-started a successful run of test flights. The company has not said what the price of the tickets would be.

Blue Origin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Blue Origin is owned by Jeff Bezos.

Booster landing
New Shepard’s reusable booster comes in for a landing

"We have not set ticket pricing and have had no serious discussions inside of Blue on the topic". We haven't released those details. It's coming, but we've got our eye on the prize, and we've got to make sure we understand our system through and through. "That means understanding everything that's necessary for human spaceflight, including the escape system".

A dummy the company calls "Mannequin Skywalker" was onboard to give the company data on what the flight would be like for real passengers. "At Blue Origin, we're all about safety", she said.

Other experiments included one to measure magnetic fields inside the capsule and another to test a vibration isolation platform that could be used by future payloads to further reduce vibrations for "higher precision microgravity studies".

Along with the suborbital New Shepard rockets and spacecraft, Blue Origin also is developing a powerful new engine, the BE-4, to help boost satellites into orbit using much larger New Glenn rockets.

Blue Origin's New Shepard booster on its launch pad in West Texas. But the company has not set a firm timetable for the start of crewed test flights, or the launch of commercial services directed at the space tourism and suborbital research markets.

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