Blue Origin Successfully Launches New Shepard Rocket for High-Altitude Emergency Abort Test

During the launch, Blue Origin engineers were looking for the "red line" on that system, company spokesperson Ariane Cornell said on a webcast during the run-up to the launch, comparing it to the high-stress tests that cars and airplanes undergo before being put on sale. "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 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.

Cornell didn't offer a timetable for crewed flights beyond "soon" during the webcast but said they could begin "after a couple more tests".

Blue Origin's New Shepard booster on its launch pad in West Texas. The launch from Blue Origin's test site in West Texas is set to occur at 14:00 UTC - with the test campaign now in the final leg ahead of carrying paying customers.

Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal to reach Wimbledon final
I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semifinals", he continued. "I don't know what to say right now". Novak Djokovic is one set away from a place in the Wimbledon final after edging ahead of Rafael Nadal in their belated semi.


Although Blue Origin is yet to provide details, it is understood the company has already purchased the first landing ship for returning New Glenn boosters. (Blue Origin via YouTube) The New Shepard capsule makes its descent.

The roomy capsule, packed with experiments and an instrumented test dummy known as Mannequin Skywalker, rapidly shot away atop a brilliant jet of flame and 70,000 pounds of thrust, demonstrating the quick-response safety system will work if needed, regardless of the altitude. Such systems are created to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency.

The launch included a number of different scientific instruments, medical items, and testing materials, along with Blue Origin's "Fly My Stuff" program, where the company's employees send their own materials into space. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 350,000 feet (106,680 meters), which was about five percent higher than previous New Shepard test flights. "Just another day at the office", she said. 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 is expected to conduct several more uncrewed tests in the months ahead, leading up to the first flight with Blue Origin's test astronauts. Also, ticket prices for a trip into space haven't yet been decided, noted Cornell. "But we've got our eyes on the prize".

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