Wednesday morning, Blue Origin launched a capsule-carrying New Shepard rocket from its facility in West Texas. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) from the company's West Texas launch site. Once it reached the threshold of space, the capsule fired its motors, shooting it away from the booster in a maneuver the company said would "push the rocket to its limits".
The escape rocket motor is built into the crew capsule to provide a backup plan in case something goes wrong with New Shepard's booster.
"Crew Capsule looks great even after it was pushed hard by the escape test. Astronauts would have had an exhilarating ride and safe landing", Bezos said in a tweet.
However, Blue Origin rebuked the amount in a statement.
During the test flight, the rocket was loaded up with both the Blue Origin test dummy - nicknamed Mannequin Skywalker, which took its third flight to space today - and a host of science payloads.
While this flight was primarily meant to demonstrate the vehicle's escape system, the crew capsule carried eight research and technology demonstration payloads, similar to what the vehicle has done on previous suborbital test flights.
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Blue Origin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
After launch, the reusable New Shepard booster will climb to an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers), the internationally-approved boundary of space, and then proceed to land nearby. (Blue Origin via You Tube) New Shepard's capsule fires its retros as it touches down for a landing. "Great engineering and the lucky boots worked again".
But if all goes well, she said, "it's going to be a sweet ride".
Strapped into reclining seats at launch, the New Shepard passengers will be able to unstrap and briefly float about the cabin near the top of its trajectory when they will experience five to six minutes of weightlessness and enjoy the view from the largest windows ever built into an operational spacecraft. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development. Also, ticket prices for a trip into space haven't yet been decided, noted Cornell.
Today's mission was created to test the high-altitude escape motor of New Shepard's crew capsule, said representatives of Blue Origin, which is run by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. 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.