Blue Origin successfully tests escape system in latest New Shepard launch

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Blue Origin will once again be putting a mannequin onboard the New Shepard capsule today to measure the various forces it feels as it rides the powerful rocket skyward.

The climax of the uncrewed test flight came shortly after New Shepard's capsule separated from its booster and switched on its 70,000-pound-thrust escape rocket motor. That's 74 miles or 119 kilometres. Such systems are created to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency.

Wednesday's flight will be the ninth by a New Shepard rocket, and the third using Blue Origin's most recent model of the single-stage vehicle, which debuted in December and made its second launch and landing in April. Blue Origin responded to the report, saying the company has not set ticket prices, and does not plan to sell rides until some time after New Shepard makes its first test flight with humans on-board.

Another payload offered an unusual synergy with another part of Blue Origin.

Blue Origin has yet to announce when it will start selling tickets or how much flights will cost.

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That would pave the way for the entire city to come under government control in accordance with the handover deal. A group affiliated with the Islamic State group holds a sliver of territory on the southern tip of the region.

During the launch, Blue Origin engineers were looking for the "red line" on that system, company spokesperson Ariane Cornell said on a webcast during the run-up to the launch, comparing it to the high-stress tests that cars and airplanes undergo before being put on sale. (Blue Origin via You Tube) New Shepard's capsule fires its retros as it touches down for a landing.

Eventually, up to six passengers at a time could get on board the New Shepard spaceship, which flies under autonomous control. "We are really curious how microgravity affects the structure and properties of things, and we hope this flight will help us understand the science behind it", said James Yenbamroong, chief executive and founder of mu Space, in a preflight statement.

Claims in the media - which haven't been verified by Blue Origin - note Jeff Bezos's company is going to charge between $200,000 and $300,000 per ticket for the short suborbital flight.

One payload, called "Fly My Stuff", included personal items supplied by company employees. The hardware used in previous tests has been retired and put on exhibit at Blue Origin's Florida rocket factory, where the orbital-class New Glenn rocket will be built.

This year has already been packed with rocket launches, and many of those have come from SpaceX.

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