Jeff Bezos' company will charge $200,000 for a flight to space
19 July, 2018, 07:46 | Author: Lucy Floyd
Along with the suborbital New Shepard rockets and spacecraft, Blue Origin also is developing a powerful new engine, the BE-4, to help boost satellites into orbit using much larger New Glenn rockets.
These latest tests were also created to push the booster to its limit, which led to Blue Origin noting the potential they could lose the booster, not least during the focused testing on the escape system, centered around a solid motor firing for two seconds to fly the capsule free of a failing booster.
While this test was unmanned, the reusable rocket is created to deliver payloads - and potentially tourists - to sub-orbital space.
Mission 9 will feature a crew capsule mounted on top of the rocket to carry the experiments as well as a dummy called "Mannequin Skywalker".
Blue Origin is owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.
However, all tests - from test 2 to test 8 - have seen the booster return for a safe pinpoint landing, followed shortly after by the capsule parachuting to a landing site nearby. (Blue Origin via You Tube) New Shepard's capsule fires its retros as it touches down for a landing. (Blue Origin via YouTube) The New Shepard capsule makes its descent.
New Shepard's reusable booster comes in for a landing.
Cornell didn't offer a timetable for crewed flights beyond "soon" during the webcast but said they could begin "after a couple more tests".
It's part of a safety system meant to save lives once space tourists and others climb aboard for suborbital hops.
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. "At Blue Origin, we're all about safety", she said.
Eventually, up to six passengers at a time could get on board the New Shepard spaceship, which flies under autonomous control. The hardware used in previous tests has been retired and put on exhibit at Blue Origin's Florida rocket factory, where the orbital-class New Glenn rocket will be built.
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. Although some reports suggest the price of a ticket could be in the $200,000-to-$300,000 range, Blue Origin says no price has yet been set and no reservations are yet being taken.
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