Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket Aces Important Test

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This is the ninth mission for the New Shepard program and the third time this reusable rocket was used. Many customers and the aerospace industry have been very keen on knowing the cost of a ticket on Blue Origin's New Shepard space vehicle to find out whether or not it is affordable enough to generate a strong demand on space tourism.

On the launch webcast Tuesday, company spokesperson Ariane Cornell said launching humans could begin "hopefully after a couple more tests". "We're going to be firing it in the vacuum of space for the first time", Cornell said.

Mission 9 will feature a crew capsule mounted on top of the rocket to carry the experiments as well as a dummy called "Mannequin Skywalker".

Sir Richard Branson founder of Virgin Galactic with his Spaceship Two and White Knight Two carrier aircraft
Blue Origin plans high-altitude escape test on suborbital launch Wednesday

Blue Origin is set to push the rocket to its limits during this test.

TESTING. TESTING. Blue Origin wasn't the only company testing the waters with this New Shepard rocket launch; the rocket's capsule contained a variety of devices and experiments for scientists and educators conducting microgravity research.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket company has shot a capsule higher into space than it's ever done before.

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The ninth New Shepard test took place on July 18 at Blue Origin's facilities in West Texas, with the new generation rocket blasting off from its launchpad at 11 a.m. ET. That's 74 miles or 119 kilometers. A live stream will begin about 20 minutes before launch at blueorigin.com or via the video embed below.

With its booster on its landing pad in the background, the New Shepard crew capsule descends to touchdown after its dramatic test flight.

If all goes well, the demonstration may well see Blue Origin closer to flying people on brief trips to space. There's no denying that SpaceX is leading the private spaceflight industry at the moment, but Blue Origin is still grinding away in the hopes that it can be one of the first to offer its services to high-paying clients.

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Those payloads some that flew previously, like the Schmitt Space Communicator developed by Solstar, a New Mexico company seeking to demonstrate the use of wifi communications technologies in space.

While this test will be unmanned, the reusable rocket is created to deliver payloads - and potentially tourists - to sub-orbital space.

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