July 21, 2024

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Blue Origin is launching people into space for the first time since 2022

Blue Origin is launching people into space for the first time since 2022

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space company, has taken people to (the edge of) space for the first time since 2022. There were six people aboard the company’s New Shepard rocket.

At approximately 4:37 p.m. Dutch time, NS-25, the seventh crewed mission with the New Shepard rocket, took to the air. The capsule at the top of the rocket had a crew of six on board, all of them tourists. At approximately 4:40 p.m., New Shepard reached the edge of space, where the capsule separated from the rocket. The crew then experienced weightlessness for a few minutes.

Shortly after the rocket reached space, it returned to Earth. It landed vertically on a landing pad in the Texas desert at about 4:44 p.m. The capsule carrying the astronauts landed again on the surface of the Earth two minutes later. This capsule uses parachutes to return. Only two of the three parachutes were fully deployed on this mission, something Blue Origin says can happen and isn’t necessarily bad news.

The seventh manned flight

This mission is the seventh manned flight of the New Shepard rocket. The previous crewed flight took place in August 2022. A month later, an uncrewed mission with a New Shepard rocket failed. The rocket was then lost, but the capsule, which was carrying passengers during a manned flight, was able to land on the ground with the help of parachutes. If there had been any passengers in the capsule, it turns out they would have survived.

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However, the cause had to be investigated after the accident. As a result, New Shepard was unable to fly for more than a year. After engineers were able to solve the technical problems, the unmanned New Shepard vehicle was able to return to space for the first time in December last year.

The missile

New Shepard is a fully reusable rocket capable of vertical landing. The vehicle cannot reach a high enough height to put objects into orbit around Earth, but it can reach the edge of space for a short time. The capsule on top of the rocket can hold up to six people, who experience weightlessness for several minutes during the flight. It is not known how much a flight ticket costs.

Blue Origin is working on New Shepard’s successor, New Glenn. This rocket must have multiple stages and be able to place objects in Earth orbit. New Glenn must compete with SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, among other things, and must be largely reusable.

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