New ShepardDate: 16 October 2020 Tags: Space
New Shepard, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space successfully completed its seventh test launch after it took off from a test facility in Texas.
The system is built by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space company called Blue Origin and will eventually allow space tourists to experience microgravity by taking them over 100 km above the Earth.
In 2018, Blue Origin was one of the ten companies selected by NASA to conduct studies and advance technologies to collect, process, and use space-based resources for missions to the Moon and Mars.
Essentially, it is a rocket system that has been designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line – the internationally recognised boundary of space.
The idea is to provide easier and more cost-effective access to space meant for purposes such as academic research, corporate technology development, and entrepreneurial ventures among others.
The system is a fully reusable, vertical takeoff and vertical landing space vehicle that accelerates for about 2.5 minutes before the engine cuts off.
After separating from the booster, the capsule free falls in space, while the booster performs an autonomously controlled vertical landing back to Earth. The capsule, on the other hand, lands back with the help of parachutes.
The lunar landing sensor demo, was the first payload to be mounted onto the exterior of the space vehicle and was meant to test the technology that helps to achieve high accuracy landings such as those done on the lunar surface.