Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship hits new heights in escape test flight

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship hits new heights in escape test flight

Once it reached the threshold of space, the capsule fired its motors, shooting it away from the booster in a maneuver the company said would "push the rocket to its limits". Its effectiveness is essential to ensuring the safety of any people who might ride aboard the capsule in the future.

The climax of the uncrewed test flight came shortly after New Shepard's capsule separated from its booster and switched on its 70,000-pound-thrust escape rocket motor.

The launch was pulled off without a hitch: both the booster and the crew capsule returned to Earth.

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Blue Origin is testing its New Shepard rocket for the ninth time. One such payload including an experiment funded both privately and by NASA, called Solstar, which tested WiFi capabilities in space.

In a brief statement announcing Wednesday's flight, Blue Origin offered no further details on the objectives or the technical parameters for the planned high-altitude escape motor test.

Blue Origin has provided only vague schedules about when human flights would begin, with company officials saying recently they anticipated starting to fly humans on test flights by the end of this year.

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It's also not yet known how much Blue Origin plans to charge for rides in a New Shepard capsule.

New Shepard's reusable booster comes in for a landing. The company has not said what the price of the tickets would be. "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. "But we've got our eyes on the prize". "Just another day at the office", she said. The experiment will record vehicle conditions including cabin pressure, temperature, CO2, acoustic conditions, and acceleration. If successful, the demonstration is expected to move the company a step closer to flying people - first its own employees, then paying passengers - on trips to space lasting several minutes, offering the experience of weightlessness and spectacular views. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development.

LC-11 will be used to test fire New Glenn engines, while LC-36 will be the launch site for the orbital rocket that is being placed to take on other vehicles in its class, such as those from SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.

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