#Rocket #BlueOrigin – Blue Origin’s Crucial ‘In-Flight Escape Test’ Today: What to Expect : Blue Origin, the private spaceflight company led by billionaire Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, plans to launch a critical safety test of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle today (Oct. 5).
If all goes according to plan, the New Shepard capsule will zoom away from its rocket shortly after liftoff from Blue Origin’s west Texas test site, showing how it would get passengers to safety in the event of a real-life launch emergency.
Blue Origin is developing New Shepard – which consists of a capsule and a rocket, both of which are reusable – to take people and/or scientific experiments on brief trips to suborbital space.
The company has already launched four successful suborbital test flights since November 2015; each time, the rocket returned to Earth for a soft landing, and the capsule did the same, with the aid of parachutes. But today’s test will be different.
“About 45 seconds after liftoff at about 16,000 feet [5,000 meters], we’ll intentionally command escape,” Bezos wrote in a blog post last month. “Redundant separation systems will sever the crew capsule from the booster at the same time we ignite the escape motor.”