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posted by takyon on Wednesday January 23 2019, @07:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the new-shepherding dept.

New Shepard Makes 10th Launch as Blue Origin Aims to Fly Humans Late in 2019:

Under clear west Texas skies on Wednesday morning, Blue Origin's autonomous New Shepard launch system made what appeared to be a flawless flight into space and back. After separating from its booster, the spacecraft ascended to a height of 106.9km before returning to Earth by parachute. The booster also made a nominal powered landing.

For Blue Origin, the company's first flight of its reusable New Shepard system in more than six months served a dual purpose. It provided additional test data for the launch system as the company moves closer to crewed flights, and the launch allowed the company to fly eight NASA-sponsored research and technology payloads into space through NASA's Flight Opportunities program.

During the webcast, Blue Origin's head of sales, Ariane Cornell, said the company was "aiming" to conduct human flights on board New Shepard before the end of 2019, but stressed that Blue Origin would not compromise on safety to meet any arbitrary dates. The company has yet to begin selling tickets for the six-person capsule, or set a price for the 11-minute experience that will take passengers above the Kármán line and provide a few minutes of weightlessness.

Also at cnet:

The rocket company -- which is owned by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos -- sent eight NASA-sponsored research projects up to spend a little time at the edge of space before smoothly returning to Earth.

It was New Shepard's 10th mission (NS-10) and originally set for December, but halted due to "a ground infrastructure issue." The mission was rescheduled for Monday, but wind forecasts pushed it again to Wednesday.

The reusable rocket reached its apogee and fell back to Earth, using its booster engine to cushion its landing and remain upright.

Skip ahead to about 42 minutes into the webcast to see the actual launch, ascent, and return.

Original Submission

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Jeff Bezos Talks about Blue Origin at Yale Club Event 29 comments

Jeff Bezos just gave a private talk in New York. From utopian space colonies to dissing Elon Musk's Martian dream, here are the most notable things he said.

  • Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, gave a talk to a members-only event at the Yale Club in New York on Tuesday.
  • During the 30-minute lecture, Bezos said his private aerospace company, Blue Origin, would launch its first people into space aboard a New Shepard rocket in 2019.
  • Bezos also questioned the capabilities of a space tourism competitor, Virgin Galactic, and criticized the goal of Elon Musk and SpaceX to settle Mars with humans.
  • Ultimately, Bezos said he wants Blue Origin to enable a space-faring civilization where "a Mark Zuckerberg of space" and "1,000 Mozarts and 1,000 Einsteins" can flourish.
  • Bezos advised the crowd to hold a powerful, personal long-term vision, but to devote "the vast majority of your energy and attention" on shorter-term activities and those ranging up to 2- or 3-year timeframes.

[...] Bezos: I don't think we'll live on planets, by the way. I think we'll live in giant O'Neal[sic]-style space colonies. Gerard O'Neil, decades ago, came up with this idea. He asked his physics students at Princeton a very simple question, but a very unusual one, which is: Is a planetary surface the right place for humanity to expand in the solar system? And after doing a lot of work, they came back and decided the answer was "no." There's a fascinating interview with Isaac Asimov, Gerard O'Neill, and their interviewer that you can find on YouTube from many decades ago. And to Asimov, the interviewer says, "Why do you think we're so focused, then, on expanding onto other planetary surfaces?" And Asimov says, "That's simple. We grew up on a planet, we're planet chauvinists."

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  • (Score: 2) by Snow on Wednesday January 23 2019, @08:56PM (3 children)

    by Snow (1601) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @08:56PM (#790803) Journal

    No one cares, Jeff. Sending a rocket straight up and down is boring.

    It's more boring than the Boring company.

    Shoot it sideways and have it drop Amazon deliveries on customers. That would be exciting.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday January 23 2019, @09:15PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <> on Wednesday January 23 2019, @09:15PM (#790809) Journal

      Well, it would be mildly amusing to see suborbital space tourism take off after years of talk.

      Also, the flight carried several research payloads, so it isn't completely useless.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday January 23 2019, @11:18PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 23 2019, @11:18PM (#790902) Journal

        the flight carried several research payloads

        Yeah, right. A vomit-comet [] replacement, only smaller, not certified yet for human payload and most likely more expensive per trip.

        Not yet impressed.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @01:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @01:33AM (#790970)

      First time I'd looked at the assembled launch configuration. With the large diameter capsule covering the upper "ring fin" it sure looks like a dick, must be just what Bezos ordered.

  • (Score: 1) by laserfusion on Wednesday January 23 2019, @09:56PM

    by laserfusion (1450) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @09:56PM (#790835)

    I liked the large windows on the capsule. Also I liked the powered landing, but it's just a suborbital vehicle. Still impressive.