Update January 23rd, 10:30AM ET: Blue Origin’s launch was a success. After reaching a height of 66 miles, both the capsule and booster landed safely in the Texas desert. During the live stream, Ariane Cornell mentioned that the company is hoping to do its first crewed flights before the end of this year. Original Story: This morning, Jeff Bezos’ private spaceflight venture Blue Origin is set to conduct another test flight of its New Shepard rocket — a vehicle designed to take passengers to the edge of space and back. It’ll be the first launch of the year for the company, and the tenth overall for the New Shepard system. With each new test, Blue Origin gets one step closer to putting people on the rocket, a milestone the company hopes to achieve this year. The New Shepard is a fully reusable rocket, which means the entire system is recovered after each flight and then flown again. It consists of two main parts: a rocket booster and capsule for carrying people. During each launch, the booster climbs through the atmosphere, carrying the capsule beyond the edge of space — about 62 miles up. Around this height, the booster and capsule separate. It’s at this point that any people on board would feel the sensation of weightlessness. Not long afterward, both the booster and capsule fall back to Earth; the booster reignites its engine to land upright on the ground, while three parachutes lower the capsule gently to the surface. To… [Read full story]
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