Blue Origin productively released its New Shepard vehicle on the recent test flight; a trial flight that the firm stated is its one footstep closer to flying humans afterward in this year. The New Shepard vehicle was launched on the NS-11 mission from the company’s test location in West Texas. The vehicle soars what the company states it as a “normal” test outline, with the crew capsule splitting from the propulsion module and arriving a peak elevation of 105.6 Kilometers prior to landing 10 Minutes afterward under parachutes. The propulsion module completed a powered upright landing on a close by landing pad.
The vehicle transported 38 Microgravity research payloads, which is the most on a single New Shepard flight. That comprised 9 payloads from NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, varying from 3D printing to biomedical experiments. Around 6 payloads were of a research program at the MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab, 3 were of ASU (Arizona State University), and 1 was from a high school in Alabama. This flight was the 5th for this arrangement of propulsion module and crew capsule, and the 11th in the comprehensive test course, dating back to April 2015.
Recently, Blue Origin was in news as the company wants the Air Force to postpone rocket program. With no more than 3 Years remaining for a congressional target to finish the U.S. reliance on Russian-made rocket engines, one of the rivals in an Air Force program is advancing a next-generation liftoff system and asking for a stall in the contract award. Four contractors—SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin partnership ULA (United Launch Alliance), and Blue Origin—are competing in the NSSL (National Security Space Launch) program, with the Air Force anticipated to down-select to two providers in 2020.