General, Research, Technology

Blue Origin has successfully launched the New Shepard spacecraft. People will fly into space soon

At the moment, the development of space tourismnot only Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are involved. In 2006, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin began developing the New Shepard spacecraft, and very soon it will be able to deliver the first tourists to Earth orbit. On the evening of April 14, the company conducted a test flight, during which the system of a rocket and a passenger capsule successfully flew into the sky and made a soft landing. Inside the ship, instead of tourists, there was a dummy named Skywalker, but mission leaders said that tests with real people would take place very soon. The test flight was completed in just 10 minutes, but even in such a short period of time, many interesting things happened. Let's find out how everything happened step by step.

A frame from the broadcast of the launch of the New Shepard spacecraft

Preparing to launch the New Shepard spacecraft

New Shepard spaceship launch sitehas become the launch site of Blue Origin in Van Horn, Texas. Since in the future the device will be designed to put real people into orbit, as part of the NS-15 mission, it was decided to reproduce all stages of the flight. Usually, people board the ship before the flight, so 4 people got into the passenger capsule a few minutes before takeoff:

  • Clay Mowry, vice president of sales for Blue Origin;
  • Audrey Powers, Vice President, Legal;
  • New Shepard designer Gary Lai;
  • Blue Origin CFO Susan Knapp.

Blue Origin Executive Teamrehearsed all the stages of pre-flight preparation: ascent to the New Shepard launch tower, landing in the passenger capsule, closing the hatch and checking the connection. They left the ship 15 minutes before the start.

New Shepard rocket landing

Meanwhile, a passenger capsule with a dummyspent 3 minutes in zero gravity. After that, she also began to descend to the surface of the Earth and at one moment opened three parachutes. The entire test flight lasted only about 10 minutes, but every moment was breathtaking.

Landing of the New Shepard passenger capsule

This is not the first test of the New ship.Shepard. The flight of the first prototype took place back in 2006. Now we are faced with an almost completely finished aircraft. In January, the NS-14 was tested, in which the management tested the communication, for which the new speakers and microphones are responsible. When exactly the manned test will be carried out with the participation of real people is still unknown. But on the live broadcast it was said that this will happen very "soon".

Starship spaceship explosion

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The Starship is not ready yet, but alreadySpaceX will send the first humans into space in September 2021. For this, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will be used, which has already managed to prove its safety. The names of SpaceX's first space tourists are already known - you can read about them here. Some tourists will fly into space by good luck.