Blue Origin’s goal of creating an ‘astronaut experience’ for fee-paying members of the public has moved forward with the successful test of New Shepard’s escape system.
New Shepard is Blue Origin’s reusable vertical take-off, vertical landing spacecraft that consists of a pressurised capsule on top of a booster.
Launched from a site in Texas, New Shepard performed an in-flight test of the capsule’s escape system, which is designed to propel the crew to safety if a problem is detected with the booster.
Less than a minute into the mission and at an altitude of 4,893m, the capsule separated and the escape motor fired, pushing the capsule away from the booster.
Reaching an apogee of 7,092m, the capsule then descended under parachutes.
After the capsule escape, the booster continued its ascent, reaching an apogee of 93,713m.
At just under eight minutes into the mission, the booster executed a controlled, vertical landing back at the Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site, marking the completion of its fifth and final mission.
Founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin is developing technologies to enable private human access to space.