VIDEO: Highlights From Blue Origin’s First Developmental Test Space Flight
By Jeff Bezos // April 30, 2015
one step closer to conquering space
ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights from Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle as it makes its first developmental test flight.
WEST TEXAS, USA – This week, we flew the first developmental test flight of our New Shepard space vehicle.
Our 110,000-pound thrust liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen BE-3 engine worked flawlessly, powering New Shepard through Mach 3 to its planned test altitude of 307,000 feet.
Guidance, navigation and control was nominal throughout max Q and all of ascent. The in-space separation of the crew capsule from the propulsion module was perfect. Any astronauts on board would have had a very nice journey into space and a smooth return.
In fact, if New Shepard had been a traditional expendable vehicle, this would have been a flawless first test flight.
Of course one of our goals is reusability, and unfortunately we didn’t get to recover the propulsion module because we lost pressure in our hydraulic system on descent. Fortunately, we’ve already been in work for some time on an improved hydraulic system.
Also, assembly of propulsion module serial numbers 2 and 3 is already underway – we’ll be ready to fly again soon.
We continue to be big fans of the vertical takeoff, vertical landing architecture. We chose VTVL because it’s scalable to very large size.
We’re already designing New Shepard’s sibling, her Very Big Brother – an orbital launch vehicle that is many times New Shepard’s size and is powered by our 550,000-lbf thrust liquefied natural gas, liquid oxygen BE-4 engine.
Can’t wait to fly again – Gradatim Ferociter!
P.S. You can sign up for our mailing list here if you’d like early notification when we’re ready to accept flight reservations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Bezos is an American business magnate and investor. He is a technology entrepreneur who has played a key role in the growth of e-commerce as the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, an online merchant of books and later of a wide variety of products. Under his guidance, Amazon.com became the largest retailer on the World Wide Web and a top model for Internet sales. In 2013, Bezos purchased The Washington Post newspaper.
In 2000, Bezos founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup company, partially as a result of his fascination with space travel, including an early interest in developing “space hotels, amusement parks, colonies and small cities for 2 million or 3 million people orbiting the Earth.” The company was kept secret for a few years until it became publicly known only in 2006 when purchasing a sizable aggregation of land in west Texas for a launch and test facility.
– Source: Wikipedia.org