Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle successfully flew today, a step closer to providing pay-for-ticket human space travel on suborbital treks.

Exhilarating ride

As posted by Blue Origin: “During this mission, known as Mission 9 (M9), the escape motor was fired shortly after booster separation. The Crew Capsule was pushed hard by the escape test and we stressed the rocket to test that astronauts can get away from an anomaly at any time during flight. The mission was a success for both the booster and capsule. Most importantly, astronauts would have had an exhilarating ride and safe landing.”

Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

“This isn’t the first time we’ve done this type of extreme testing on New Shepard. In October of 2012, we simulated a booster failure on the launch pad and had a successful escape. Then in October of 2016, we simulated a booster failure in-flight at Max Q, which is the most physically strenuous point in the flight for the rocket, and had a completely successful escape of the capsule.”

“This test on M9 allowed us to finally characterize escape motor performance in the near-vacuum of space and guarantee that we can safely return our astronauts in any phase of flight.”

Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

Customers

On today’s Mission 9, a third round of payload customers from commercial companies, universities and space agencies shared the cabin with Blue Origin’s Mannequin Skywalker for their flight to

Here is a selection of customers that flew on Mission 9:

Schmitt Space Communicator Xperimental (SC1-x) by Solstar (Santa Fe, NM), developed with private funding and with support from NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. On New Shepard Mission 8, Solstar demonstrated the first commercial WiFi in space. On this reflight, they will take advantage of the Crew Capsule’s high altitude escape and continue testing WiFi access throughout the flight.

Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

GAGa (Granular Anisotropic Gases) is from Otto-von-Guericke University (Magdeburg, Germany) with end-to-end service provider OLYMPIASPACE (Darmstadt, Germany) and funding from the German space agency, DLR. The GAGa payload investigates the statistics of granular gases, dilute collections of solid grains that interact by random collisions. Data from GAGa on New Shepard Mission 9 will help validate existing theoretical models and contribute to understanding the dynamics of related systems like avalanches and cosmic dust clouds.

Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

Suborbital Flight Experiment Monitor-2 (SFEM-2) is from NASA Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX). SFEM-2 was first flown on Mission 8 of New Shepard, and will collect additional data on Mission 9. The experiment will record vehicle conditions including cabin pressure, temperature, CO2, acoustic conditions, and acceleration.

Condensed Droplet Experiment for NASA in Sub-Orbital Spaceflight (ConDENSS) from Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), funded through NASA Flight Opportunities Program. ConDENSS will examine the behavior of small droplets of water in order to support the development of small and efficient heat transfer systems for spaceflight. These systems, called phase change heat transfer systems, provide more uniform surface temperatures and higher power capacities.

APL Electromagnetic Field Experiment by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), funded through NASA Flight Opportunities Program. This experiment marks the first flight of the JANUS 2.1 platform with sensors to monitor magnetic fields and ambient pressure inside the vehicle. Previous versions of JANUS were flown on New Shepard Missions 6 and 7.

Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

Vibration Isolation Platform Data Logger by Controlled Dynamics, funded through NASA Flight Opportunities Program. VIP DL is a technology demo for an active stabilization platform that aims to allow the most sensitive payloads flying on New Shepard to be isolated from ambient vibrations, allowing for even higher precision microgravity studies.

mu Space-1 by mu Space Corporation (Bangkok, Thailand). The first of Blue Origin’s New Glenn customers to purchase a slot on New Shepard, mu Space’s payload includes an assortment of scientific and medical items, several textile materials they plan to use on their future space suit and apparel, and other special articles for their community partners.

Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

 

Blue Origin “Fly My Stuff” is tagged as a special addition to the Mission 9 payload manifest and is a suite of payloads from Blue Origin employees as a part of the group’s internal “Fly My Stuff” program.

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