Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blue Origin's New Shepard Rocketship

Billionaire Jeff Bezos of fame has been putting his money into a new project for several years now – Blue Origin is the name of this company and they are developing a reusable spaceship known as “New Shepard” that looks like a egg standing on four legs. It is in fact – a Dropship. Please go back to the September archive on this blog to look for a article about the 10th anniversary of the First Single-Stage-to-Orbit test vehicle – “DC-X What the Future SHOULD Have Been” (September 10, 2008).

The New Shepard is designed to fly multiple astronauts into suborbital space at very competitive prices. First tests of the vehicle have been staged at their private launch site in West Texas, not too far from El Paso, Texas. Blue Origins plan, aside from offering flights to tourists, would provide opportunities for scientists to fly their experiments into space and in a microgravity environment. And they have been getting some help from NASA's Alan Stern, the former chief of space science. First remotely controlled or unpiloted flights can begin as early as 2011 with the first manned launches to follow within a year of that target date.

The New Shepard vehicle consist of a pressurized Crew Capsule carrying the experiments and astronauts atop the Propulsion Module. Once in space, the Crew Capsule separates from the Propulsion Module and the two craft will reenter the atmosphere separately. The Crew Capsule will land softly under a parachute at the launch site. The Crew Capsule is reported to be able to carry three of more astronauts depending on the mission profile.

Ref. : ( ). Article by Leonard David posted December 8, 2008. “Secretive Space Vehicle Tested at Private Texas Site”

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