Watch Blue Origin's high-altitude abort test during latest rocket launch

18 July, 2018, 19:34 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Blue Origin's New Shepard spaceship on pad

The New Shepard rocket and capsule blasts off in this handout photo provided by Blue Origin, from a launch site in West Texas April 2, 2016. Blue Origin responded to the report, saying the company has not set ticket prices, and does not plan to sell rides until some time after New Shepard makes its first test flight with humans on-board.

The test flight also carried 12 payloads and even a passenger - specifically an instrumented dummy brilliantly named "Mannequin Skywalker".

Both the booster and the capsule survived the test, returning to Earth with a soft landing.

The high-altitude emergency abort test is created to figure out what may happen when there's a problem with the launch rocket, according to Engadget.

It's a situation that would only occur if the passenger capsule needed to boost away from the rocket booster in case of an emergency during launch.

Other items aboard the flight include a NASA-funded vibration damping system to allow for more precise experiments in microgravity, an assortment of scientific, medical and textile materials from the Thai startup mu Space, and an allotment of mementos and other items provided by Blue Origin employees.

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. After a successful launch, it will be available for use on the capsule's next flight.


Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin launched its New Shepard rocket for the ninth time. Though, the 10-second countdown begins at around the 35 minute mark.

Blue Origin has not started selling tickets for seats on commercial New Shepard flights, but Reuters reported last week the flight opportunities are expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000.

But if all goes well, she said, "it's going to be a sweet ride". The experiment will record vehicle conditions including cabin pressure, temperature, CO2, acoustic conditions, and acceleration.

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.

Blue Origin has completed a sprawling rocket factory near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to build New Glenn rockets and is developing a launch pad at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Blue Origin is developing a much bigger rocket, called New Glenn, as an orbital launcher. The New Glenn will compete with United Launch Alliance's upcoming Vulcan rocket and with SpaceX boosters in the US launch market.

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