Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship hits new heights in escape test flight

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In addition to Mannequin Skywalker, Blue Origin's in-cabin dummy, there will be scientific experiments, spacesuit material tests, WiFi access testing and more throughout the flight. Blue Origin accomplished a low-altitude abort test with a previous version of the New Shepard vehicle in October 2016, proving the capsule's solid-fueled abort motor could get passengers away from a catastrophic in-flight failure.

The vehicle's propulsion module boosted the crew capsule on a standard trajectory.

Accompanying the dummy aboard the capsule were NASA atmospheric science experiments and payloads from paying customers.

Blue Origin launched a New Shepard rocket to space earlier in April.

The test required sending the capsule up to between 390,000 and 400,000 feet (roughly 120 kilometers) and then waiting for about 20 seconds for the booster to clear, ensuring that its exhaust wouldn't interfere with the capsule test.

"Anything could have happened today, and this is the best possible outcome", launch commentator Ariane Cornell said.

It is a so-called "full envelope" abort system, meaning it is created to operate in all phases of flight, from ground level to high altitudes and any point in between.

However, Blue Origin rebuked the amount in a statement.

The reusable New Shepard booster is created to take off from a launch pad, climb to the internationally-recognized boundary of space at an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers), and land nearby with rocket thrust and aerobrakes.

Blue Origin continue to take 2020 for the maiden flight of the New Glenn rocket, which like its smaller sister New Shepard, will include a booster that will return for reuse. The Reuters news agency, quoting an unnamed source, recently reported that tickets were expected to initially cost between $200,000 and $300,000, making it competitive with rides aboard the winged spaceplane Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is developing.

Blue Origin's billionaire owner, Jeff Bezos, has grand designs for moving people and commerce into space, and his efforts begin with Blue Origin's rockets. "Just another day at the office", she said.

If all goes well, the demonstration may well see Blue Origin closer to flying people on brief trips to space.

With the production facility at Exploration Park all-but ready to start producing New Glenn hardware, work is also now taking place on the LC-11 and LC-36 pad facilities from which the rocket will be tested and launched from.

This year has already been packed with rocket launches, and many of those have come from SpaceX.

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