Blue Origin has returned to Earth and reusable level, and the crew capsule
The private company Blue Origin conducted the most difficult trials of the reusable rocket New Shepard. On July 18, 2018, for the first time, engineers checked the procedure for separating a crew capsule from a rocket. Everything went as planned: the capsule launched the emergency engine at the right time at an altitude of about 76,000 m, climbed to a record height of 118,825 meters, and then made a soft landing.
This is an important achievement for the rocket company Jeff Bezos, by some estimates, the richest man in the history of mankind. Previously, the company stated that if the test goes well, Blue Origin can begin manned launches by the end of 2018, and will send the first tourists into space in 2019.
The July 18 trials were the ninth trials that Blue Origin conducted and the third launch for this particular rocket. More than 20,000 people watched them live on the Blue Origin YouTube channel.
Mission video broadcast 9
The duration of the entire mission was about 11 minutes. The crew capsule has developed a maximum speed of 3598 km / h.
According to the Blue Origin plan, the BE-3 liquid engine rocket will carry out suborbital flights to a height of about 120 kilometers with space tourists on board. The flight plan provides for the separation of the capsule after reaching a given altitude and flying in weightlessness for several minutes, after which the parachutes descend to Earth. The capsule holds up to six tourists. Ticket price - $ 200 thousand.
During the tests, the reusable first stage made a soft vertical landing approximately 7 minutes after the start, and then landed on parachutes and a capsule with a Skywalker dummy.
According to some experts, Blue Origin does not expect a serious profit from the tourism business, and New Shepard is the preparatory stage for the truly serious reusable rocket New Glenn , a direct competitor to Falcon Heavy. At the same time, New Glenn has 18–38% more mass of the payload . The first tests of New Glenn are scheduled for 2020.