Blue Origin plans to bring its reusable suborbital Missile New Shepard, which carries a space capsule with a dummy and a handful of scientific experiments, to the edge of space for the ninth time.
Storms have delayed the launch slightly until 11:15 ET / 10:15 PM CT. Founder Jeff Bezos says that this launch will be shared live with the public, starting about 15 minutes before an expected start time. We will include the video here when it goes live.
Today's flight from the company's test facility in Texas is expected to take about 20 minutes, or about 100 kilometers, over the earth. Both the rocket amplifier and the space capsule will return to Earth; Blue will further refine the capsule for human flight later.
Mannequin Skywalker is ready for his second mission aboard New Shepard. He's a little bit sensitive about being called a "dummy" because he's going to study astronaut telemetry and science ̵1; a very important job! pic.twitter.com/h2ncpGWaTi
– Blue Origin (@blueorigin) April 28, 2018
The capsule will also carry half a dozen experiments profiting from it, a few minutes into it to spend microgravity while the capsule falls freely at the height of its ballistic trajectory. The experiments will test systems such as Wi-Fi and life support for future space missions, as well as tools for exploring distant stars and meteorites. Finding a way to bring experiments into this environment is a historic challenge for space researchers, and they are ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on it.
This is the eighth launch of the New Shepard Design, which was built in 2015 and the second launch for this particular vehicle, which was built last year. Bezos says his company hopes to fly people into space in 2018 and will soon start flying regular trips that bring luxury tourists to the edge of space. They will write their own rules as the new private space industry develops.
Efforts will inform the technology and prepare the public for Blue & # 39; s long-term goal for millions of people living and working in outer space.
This is the second time that the company has shared a real-time flight test after a demonstration of its on-board exhaust system in 2016. Compared to his rival, SpaceX by Elon Musk, Blue has kept his work under wraps. The New Shepard, an award-winning piece of space technology, is a smaller and less extreme vehicle than the Falcon 9 rocket, which has proven to be Musks workhorse.
Blue Origin will not stop at New Shepard and routine space tourism; It is also developing a powerful new engine and rocket for orbital missions that will compete directly with SpaceX and the rest of the launcher industry.
We will keep updating this post as we follow the launch this morning. Olufunke Michaels (R) and her classmates celebrate after receiving their degrees from the John F. Kennedy School of Government during the 364th Initial Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 28, 2015.
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