The private aerospace company Blue Origin,which is owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, conducted the successful launch of the New Shepard rocket, and then the landing of the spent stage and the crew capsules, which are planned to be used for space tourism. This is the first launch of the New Shepard rocket in 2019 and, in general, the tenth successful test for the company. With each new test, Blue Origin gets one step closer to the start of commercial space services business.
New Shepard is a fully reusable rocket. In other words, almost every element of its system can be restored for reuse. It consists of two main parts - actually, the accelerator itself (launch vehicle), as well as the capsule, in which it is planned to deliver people to a height of about 100 kilometers above the Earth's surface. Having reached this height, the accelerator and the capsule are disconnected and the people on board the capsule can feel all the effects of weightlessness on themselves. After some time, both the accelerator and the capsule will smoothly descend back to the surface; the accelerator will sit down gently due to the restart of the engine, and the capsule - thanks to the parachute system.
To prepare New Shepard for commercialFor several years, Blue Origin has been using unmanned tests at one of its test sites in west Texas (USA). During the last launch, the rocket, which had already been launched three times before (1 in 2017 and 2 times in 2018), could be brought to a height of 106 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. The previous modification of New Shepard flew into space 5 times, until in 2016 the company replaced it with a new version.
The company promised very soon to submit morea more refined version of New Shepard - it will be used for the first commercial launch, which is scheduled to be held this year. The exact timing of this launch, however, remains unknown. Despite earlier rumors that the opportunity to feel weightlessness and admire the beauty of the Earth from each passenger of New Shepard will ask 200,000 for a ticket, the company does not sell any tickets and does not even voice the expected cost.
Despite the fact that today's launch wasunmanned, on board the New Shepard were eight scientific experiments. The company has signed an agreement with NASA aerospace agency, and provides various educational institutions with the opportunity to conduct their research projects in microgravity as part of test launches. Each time you run inside New Shepard for a few minutes, weightlessness conditions are created, which are an ideal environment for scientific experiments. For example, within the framework of this launch, the equipment that measured the strength of the electromagnetic field around the launch vehicle was on board the rocket. In addition, an experiment was conducted here aimed at understanding how to properly organize the cooling of electronics with a high-density arrangement of elements.
Initially this launch was scheduled for the end.December 2018, however, Blue Origin decided to move it due to some problems with the ground infrastructure necessary for its implementation. Yesterday the company also decided to postpone the launch a day later. Today at 9:50 am local time (Texas) the rocket launch did take place. Despite the fact that Blue Origin does not usually advertise its launches, this time the company conducted a live broadcast from the launch site. Her record can be viewed below. Preparations for the launch begins from the 40th minute:
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