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Blue Origins performs fourth re-use of New Shepard rocket (video)

Posted on Monday, June 20 2016 @ 18:23:10 CEST by

Blue Origins uploaded a video clip of the company's latest New Shepard flight. Unlike the SpaceX launches, this is a suborbital space vehicle for space tourism, so it doesn't go anywhere near as high or fast as the Falcon 9 rockets from the former.

The latest Blue Origins launch illustrates the safety of the system, the company re-used the capsule for the fourth time in a row and performed a deliberate parachute failure, to demonstrate the rocket can land safely even in case something goes wrong. This was also the first time that Blue Origins live streamed the launch of its New Shepard.
New Shepard flew again on June 19, 2016, reaching an apogee of 331,504 feet (101.042 kilometers). It was the fourth flight with this booster and the sixth flight of this capsule. This time, we intentionally did not deploy one of three parachutes on the capsule and proved we could softly land with only two of them open. We’ve designed the capsule to have one or two levels of redundancy in every system needed for crew safety, including the separation systems, parachutes, reaction control thrusters, landing retro-thrusters, flight computers, and power systems.

We also changed the ascending trajectory of the booster to adopt a more aggressive tilt towards our landing pad to the north after liftoff. We did this maneuver to test the ascent trajectory we will use during Transonic Escape Test, planned for later this year. During Transonic Escape Test, we will intentionally fire the capsule’s solid-rocket escape motor in-flight at transonic speeds to divert and propel it away from a fully thrusting booster and demonstrate we can safely recover the capsule.

As mentioned above, the New Shepard rocket takes off vertically, touches the Karman line at an altitude of around 100 kilometers and lands vertically. Later this year, Blue Origins will reveal its plans for orbital flight capabilities.



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