Blue Origin successfully launches New Shepard mission NS-15 – SpaceFlight Insider

New Shepard Mission NS-15 launches onto a suborbital trajectory with its crew capsule "RSS First Step" riding atop. Aboard was just a test dummy named "Mannequin Skywalker" as well as more than 25,000 postcards from the Club for the Future nonprofit organization. Credit: Blue Origin

New Shepard Mission NS-15 launches onto a suborbital trajectory with its crew capsule “RSS First Step” driving atop. Aboard was only a check dummy named “Model Skywalker” in addition to greater than 25,000 postcards from the Membership for the Future nonprofit group. Credit score: Blue Origin

Blue Origin launched and landed each elements of its suborbital rocket and capsule system “New Shepard” at this time, April 14, 2021.

The check came about at about 11:51 a.m. CDT (16:51 UTC) on the firm’s “Launch Website One” check facility in West Texas. It was the 15th launch within the New Shepard program, therefore the NS-15 mission title. It serves as a verification step for the automobile and operations previous to flying astronauts, in keeping with the corporate.

The NS-15 mission utilized the identical upgraded booster and capsule that final flew on the NS-14 mission on Jan. 14. The capsule is called RSS (Reusable House Ship) “First Step” and is outfitted with cabin consolation options not discovered on earlier iterations corresponding to temperature and acoustic management, show screens, and capsule communications tools.

Blue Origin's RSS First Step capsule floats down to the ground under three main parachutes. Just a few feet above the surface, soft landing jets cushion the vehicle in its final moments before it hits the ground. Credit: Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s RSS First Step capsule floats all the way down to the bottom beneath three foremost parachutes. Only a few toes above the floor, mushy touchdown jets cushion the automobile in its remaining earlier than it hits the bottom. Credit score: Blue Origin

So as to check these new techniques in addition to rehearse future astronaut operations, this mission featured the first human occupation of the vehicle during the countdown, although they’d not keep on board for the flight.

Two Blue Origin workers stood in for astronauts on an operational mission throughout a deliberate maintain earlier than the flight as a way to rehearse the precise procedures that operational buyer flights would require corresponding to strapping in, communications checks, and securing of the hatches.

They then exited the capsule forsaking the corporate’s signature sensor-laden check dummy “Model Skywalker” to really take the flight and collect information because it has achieved on many earlier missions. The title is a intelligent riff on the character “Anakin Skywalker” from the “Star Wars” franchise.

The NS-15 launch went off with no hitch with the automobile ascending to a peak altitude of roughly 348,753 toes (106.three kilometers) and reaching a velocity of Mach four in keeping with the Blue Origin . The corporate expects to have extra precise numbers later.

Each booster and capsule additionally aced their landings roughly 10 minutes later at their respective landing zones. The stand-in astronauts then returned to the capsule to rehearse post-flight procedures corresponding to opening the hatch and egress from capsule on the touchdown website.

To cap off the day’s actions Blue Origin’s webcasters additionally introduced that Model Skywalker and a New Shepard seat could be donated to the U.S. House and Rocket Middle in Huntsville, , as an exhibit to inform the story of their contributions to human spaceflight.

Video courtesy of Blue Origin

Tagged: Blue Origin Lead Tales New Shepard NS-15 West Texas

Nicholas D’Alessandro

Nicholas D’Alessandro was born and raised in Southwest Florida. The seeds of his curiosity in House Exploration have been planted when the Shuttle’s sonic growth upon re-entry would reverberate by means of his childhood dwelling even throughout the state; the information that an actual life spacecraft was passing overhead and will have that was fascinating to him. A center college area journey to the Kennedy House Middle cemented that fascination, and with an extra curiosity within the bleeding fringe of automotive expertise and Teslas, it was the story of Elon Musk’s path to Cape with SpaceX that lastly led Nicholas to maneuver to the House Coast and, after becoming a member of Spaceflight Insider in 2020, start documenting the dawning period of economic spaceflight.

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