Early payload pioneers from Mission 7. Credit: Blue Origin

 

 

Launch preparations are underway for New Shepard’s 8th test flight, with Blue Origin currently targeting Sunday April 29 and a launch window opening up at 8:30am CDT. According to the rocket firm, led by Jeff Bezos, the flight will be available on Livestream.

 

 

What’s up?

As posted by Blue Origin, New Shepard’s Mission 8 involves a second round of commercial payloads for in-space science and technology demonstrations.

These payloads represent a range of users, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center to a small commercial communications firm, as well as the first European customers, funded by the German national space agency, DLR.

Standard trajectory profile.
Credit: Blue Origin

Each of the payloads has been outfitted with a custom Blue Origin Payload Locker to provide structural, power, and data interfaces throughout the flight.

Credit: Blue Origin

 

 

 

 

Customers

Below are some of the payload customers that are flying on Mission 8:

  • SFEM-2 is from NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. NASA’s Suborbital Flight Experiment Monitor-2, or SFEM-2, is designed to characterize payload test environments in support of the NASA Flight Opportunities program and other payload initiatives. The sensor suite collects cabin environmental data (CO2, pressure, acceleration, acoustics) and also tests components for future flights on NASA’s Orion capsule.
  • Schmitt Space Communicator (SC-1x) Solstar (Santa Fe, NM), developed with private funding. The Schmitt Space Communicator, named after Solstar advisor and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, is a technology demo to test the concept of providing commercial Wi-Fi access to in-space users. This flight test is being conducted with support from NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program.
  • Daphnia from the University of Bayreuth with ZARM (The Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen) and funding from German space agency, DLR. The Daphnia experiment investigates the effects of microgravity on gene expression and the cytoskeleton of daphnia water fleas. This small invertebrate species is popular in design of future bioregenerative life support systems for human space exploration.
  • EQUIPAGE from Otto von Guericke University (Magdeburg, Germany) with ZARM (The Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen) and funding from German space agency, DLR. EQUIPAGE studies the motion of macroscopic rod shaped grains to validate physics models of these systems under microgravity conditions. Such “granular gases” allow researchers to study a unique state far from equilibrium and not possible in normal Earth environments.
  • EUPHORIE from University of Duisburg-Essen with ZARM (The Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen) and funding from German space agency, DLR. EUPHORIE uses a laser to examine the phenomenon of photophoresis, the interaction of light on solid particles suspended in a gas. As the laser heats one side of such particles, it warms nearby gas molecules and accelerates the particle towards its cooler side. This research has applications to the study of early solar system evolution and meteorite formation.

For more information on the Blue Origin payloads program, go to:

https://www.blueorigin.com/payloads/

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