Jeff Bezos’ rocket company launches another test of its tourism spaceship

It marked the 13th test flight of New Shepard, as the vehicle is called, but it still has yet to fly with humans on board. Blue Origin wants to eventually send paying customers on brief joy rides to the edge of space, but the company has not started selling tickets, nor has it announced a price. So far, the vehicle has only carried science experiments and, at one point, a test dummy nicknamed Mannequin Skywalker.

During a webcast of the test flight Tuesday, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said only that the company is “very close” to being ready to fly humans.

New Shepard consists of two pieces — a small, dome-shaped capsule with gaping rectangular windows, and a 60-foot-tall rocket booster that blasts the capsule up to three times the speed of sound as it hurtles toward outer space. The capsule is designed to detach from the rocket near the top of its flight path, climbing more than 60 miles high and spending a few minutes suspended in weightlessness before parachuting back to Earth.

New Shepard flew multiple experiments for NASA during its Tuesday test launch, including a sensor mounted to the rocket booster’s exterior that was designed to study how future spacecraft might conduct more precise landings on the lunar surface.

The New Shepard booster was designed from the beginning to help Blue Origin develop lunar technology, Bezos told a crowd during a presentation about Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander program in 2018.
SpaceX and Blue Origin among companies selected to build NASA moon landers

Blue Origin is also designing a much larger rocket, named New Glenn, that the company hopes will deliver cargo and satellites into orbit, a much more difficult and higher speed journey than the short, suborbital endeavors New Shepard undertakes.

But for all of Blue Origin’s plans for futurist space technologies, the company is often seen as an underdog in the commercial space exploration scene, where Elon Musk’s SpaceX dominates headlines. While Blue Origin, founded in 2000, has never sent humans to space or put a rocket in orbit, SpaceX, a younger company by two years, is launching massive batches of satellites, sending astronauts to the International Space Station, and test flying a Mars rocket prototype.

Blue Origin’s leadership, however, says it’s all by design. The company’s mascot is a tortoise, meant to symbolize it’s dedication to go as slowly as needed and never cut corners. It’s by many accounts the opposite of the culture at SpaceX, which embodies the Silicon Valley ethos of moving extremely quickly and embracing mistakes as learning experiences.

Both Blue Origin and SpaceX have close ties to NASA, though SpaceX has won billions more in government contract money over the years.

And both companies are planning to work closely with the space agency on its plan to return astronauts — two people, including the first-ever woman — to the Moon.

Source link

Recent articles

PHOTOS! This Disney World Resort’s Lobby Looks A Bit Different Than Before!

The main lobby area at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort...

The Google Antitrust Lawsuit Explained

The Justice Department sued Google on Tuesday, accusing the company of illegally abusing its dominance in internet search in ways that harm competitors...

​Lufthansa expects third-quarter EBIT loss of €1.3 billion | News

Lufthansa Group’s preliminary third-quarter results indicate that losses were less steep than in the previous quarter, which it attributes to an expanded summer...

Office 365 OAuth Attack Targets Coinbase Users

Attackers are targeting Microsoft Office 365 users with a Coinbase-themed attack, aiming to take control of their inboxes via OAuth. Source link

Windows apps now run on Chromebooks with Parallels Desktop

Google is bringing Windows app support to Chromebooks today through a partnership with Parallels. First announced earlier this year, Chrome OS...

What’s New on Netflix & Top 10s: October 20th, 2020

Carol – Picture: StudioCanal / The Weinstein Company Welcome to your first daily recap of the week where we’re covering the 19 additions that...

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here