US-based privately funded aerospace manufacturing company Blue Origin has successfully undergone the test flight of its passenger-carrying spaceship New Shepard. The company was founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, who is the head of Amazon.com. As per the reports, the New Shepard 2.0 rocket carrying the capsule blasted off from Blue-Origin’s West Texas launch site at 1:06 p.m. EDT (1706 GMT) on April 29, Sunday.
Both the New Shepard rocket and the capsule have flow in space previously and the latest test took the spacecraft one step closure to its actual flight. On Sunday, the suborbital rocket New Shepard made its test flight and the capsule that it carried consisted of a dummy astronaut named Mannequin Skywalker and various science experiments. In this 8th flight, also called Mission 8, the New Shepard managed to attain its highest spaceflight yet. The Mannequin Skywalker flew to space for the second.
The Mission 8 is considered as a re-flight of the Mission 7 that took place in December last year. In that mission, the New Shepard rocket carried the instrument-laden dummy passenger Mannequin Skywalker for the first time to the suborbital space. Coming to Sunday’s Mission 8, the Blue Origin officials were excited about the successful test flight of the of the New Shepard space capsule.
During a launch webcast, Ariane Cornell of Blue Origin said, “Another spectacular test mission. Everything looks nominal from here.” He informed that Blue Origin launched the New Shepard to a target altitude of 347,485 feet (105,913 meters), which is almost close to 66 miles (106 km). This flight height is slightly higher than the company’s typical target of 62 miles (100 km) — the altitude widely accepted as the boundary line for space.
Cornell said that they wanted to push the New Shepard a little bit harder and they were successful in doing that. According to Blue Origin, during the test flight, the New Shepard capsule conducted astronaut telemetry and science studies. The capsule consisted of research payloads from NASA, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and some commercial customers. “We look forward to sharing upcoming test flights as we continue our progress toward human spaceflight,” stated Cornell.