Blue Origin to push New Shepard safety regime with ninth test

Blue Origin New Shepard launch

The New Shepard rocket test launch was to test the vehicle escape motor which is created to propel the crew capsule away from the booster rocket. On a standard mission, the craft separates from the rocket after engine cutoff and lands with the aid of parachutes.

"It's an important test in our march towards flying humans into space, which hopefully will be soon", Ariane Cornell, head of astronaut strategy and sales at Blue Origin, during a company webcast of the test.

New Shepard's reusable booster comes in for a landing.

Blue Origin has now tested its powerful escape system at low, mid level and high altitudes, building confidence the spacecraft and its eventual passengers can, in fact, survive a catastrophic in-fight booster failure.

The commercial space company, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is performing another test on its sub-orbital New Shepard spacecraft and launch vehicle.

If passengers were on board, that's when they would experience a few minutes of weightlessness.

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

However, Blue Origin rebuked the amount in a statement.

The vehicle's propulsion module boosted the crew capsule on a standard trajectory. That first crewed flight could take place before the end of the year. Although some reports suggest the price of a ticket could be in the $200,000-to-$300,000 range, Blue Origin says no price has yet been set and no reservations are yet being taken. We haven't released those details. "Just another day at the office", she said.

A sensor-equipped test dummy nicknamed Mannequin Skywalker sat in one of the capsule's seats. 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.

Those payloads some that flew previously, like the Schmitt Space Communicator developed by Solstar, a New Mexico company seeking to demonstrate the use of wifi communications technologies in space. The New Glenn will compete with United Launch Alliance's upcoming Vulcan rocket and with SpaceX boosters in the US launch market.

With the production facility at Exploration Park all-but ready to start producing New Glenn hardware, work is also now taking place on the LC-11 and LC-36 pad facilities from which the rocket will be tested and launched from.

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