Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Spacecraft Blasts Off From Texas Launchpad

Mindy Sparks
July 21, 2018

The goal: to test the altitude escape motor, the motor that would engage if astronauts needed to make a fast getaway due to some unforeseen circumstances in space.

However, all tests - from test 2 to test 8 - have seen the booster return for a safe pinpoint landing, followed shortly after by the capsule parachuting to a landing site nearby. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep. Wednesday's flight tested the system at high altitude, just after the booster's BE-3 engine shut down following a smooth climb out of the thick lower atmosphere.

Blue Origin used this launch to test an abort of the capsule in space, should anything go wrong during a real crewed flight.

Blue Origin is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. Eventually, when it's ready to go, Blue Origin hopes to use New Shepard to bring adventurous passengers to sub-orbital space.

Sir Richard Branson founder of Virgin Galactic with his Spaceship Two and White Knight Two carrier aircraft
Blue Origin plans high-altitude escape test on suborbital launch Wednesday

"Anything could have happened today, and this is the best possible outcome", Blue Origin the launch commentator Ariane Cornell said during the live webcast of Mission 9, available in the video below and which started airing 20 minutes after the New Shepard was launched. This time, the company continued work toward increasing the robustness of WIFI in space with an antenna created to withstand the rigors of a rocket demonstration. The team will then attempt to safely land the booster, as it did during a similar test back in 2016.

Mission 9 will feature a crew capsule mounted on top of the rocket to carry the experiments as well as a dummy called "Mannequin Skywalker".

So far, Blue Origin has completed eight test flights from its takeoff point in Texas. This propelled the capsule to an altitude of roughly 119 kilometers (74 miles), a record height for the company. Though the booster wasn't created to survive the test, it managed to touch down in the Texas desert.

This launch was the ninth for the New Shepard program, and the third for this particular combination of crew capsule and propulsion module. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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