Watch Blue Origin launch its New Shepard spacecraft live right here

19 July, 2018, 07:42 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Enlarge  New Shepard on the launch pad the morning of Mission 8

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.

Thai company mu Space, which ordered a launch of Blue Origin's New Glenn orbital rocket in 2017, included a package with several experiments from universities and organizations in Thailand.

Blue Origin launched a New Shepard rocket to space earlier in April.

The team will then attempt to safely land the booster, as it did during a similar test back in 2016.

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

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

Blue Origin, the Kent-based rocket maker, launched its New Shepard rocket Wednesday on a test flight from West Texas.

More news: Last minute tips for the end of Prime Day

The reusable New Shepard rocket settles to a picture-perfect touchdown.

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". About 20 seconds after the capsule separated, the capsule fired its solid-propellant escape motor in a planned test of its performance at high altitudes.

It's part of a safety system meant to save lives once space tourists and others climb aboard for suborbital hops. Such systems are created to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency.

But if all goes well, she said, "it's going to be a sweet ride". "Great engineering and the lucky boots worked again".

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.

Blue Origin has not started selling tickets for seats on commercial New Shepard flights, but Reuters reported last week the flight opportunities are expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000. That first crewed flight could take place before the end of the year. "We have not set ticket pricing and have had no serious discussions inside of Blue on the topic", said the statement. 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.

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