NS-15 New Shepard launch and recovery

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Sooner Boomer

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(from the Register)
Blue Origin has successfully completed a test launch and landing of its reuseable New Shepard rocket with an advanced capsule design, bringing the outfit one step closer to eventually sending up paying passengers.


The test flight, codenamed NS-15 as it's the 15th to date, was conducted at 1651 UTC (1151 CDT) at a Blue Origin site near Van Horn, Texas, on Wednesday. Two Blue Origin employees climbed up the launch tower, entered the capsule, and were strapped into their seats, and followed final procedures to prepare for a fake take off. Just before the New Shepard was due to fly, however, they left the capsule, with just Mannequin Skywalker, the instrument-stuffed dummy Blue Origin uses, to make the short journey.


The flight was the first test of the new capsule design that'll be more comfortable for people paying six-figure sums to go into space. New acoustic and temperature controls were tested, as well an improved radio and control systems. NASA wants to see all is right before putting humans on it.


You can watch the whole thing again here. Skip to 1:53:39 to get to the countdown.

 

deandome

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what a pointless* waste of rocketry resources, both tangible and intellectual.

The program has no purpose other than to fly rich dudes up 60-70 miles so they can look at the curvature of the Earth and get a few minutes of zero-g. What a noble aim...way to aim big :rolleyes::rolleyes: It's not step one towards a bigger, orbital launcher, it's the end goal. I mean, Musk is vain, but SpaceX is not a vanity-project; it does REAL things in space, and does them very well.

NASA shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as this flying codpiece, and I hope/pray not a cent of my tax dollars has gone towards this thing. Branson's Virgin flyer thing is a similar, wasteful folly, but it's a rocket plane not a rocket, so I won't go off on it too much here .I know it's a cliche that people have thrown at NASA for decades, but in these cases it's true; the billion$ wasted on both these elitist ego-trips could/should have been used to do something real for humanity and/or science.

*literally and figuratively
 

Sooner Boomer

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what a pointless* waste of rocketry resources, both tangible and intellectual.

The program has no purpose other than to fly rich dudes up 60-70 miles so they can look at the curvature of the Earth and get a few minutes of zero-g. What a noble aim...way to aim big :rolleyes::rolleyes: It's not step one towards a bigger, orbital launcher, it's the end goal. I mean, Musk is vain, but SpaceX is not a vanity-project; it does REAL things in space, and does them very well.

NASA shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as this flying codpiece, and I hope/pray not a cent of my tax dollars has gone towards this thing. Branson's Virgin flyer thing is a similar, wasteful folly, but it's a rocket plane not a rocket, so I won't go off on it too much here .I know it's a cliche that people have thrown at NASA for decades, but in these cases it's true; the billion$ wasted on both these elitist ego-trips could/should have been used to do something real for humanity and/or science.

*literally and figuratively
Well, at least it didn't explode!

This isn't a gripe, please don't take it as meaning anything negative... Why do you care what they spend their money on?

I'm fairly familiar with motion control systems in practice and theory. Getting a rocket to fly "up" is fairly easy. Getting it to fly back down to a designated spot under computer control is extremely hard.
 

OverTheTop

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It is a stepping-stone to full orbital flight operation. Their lessons, while contributing to lesser goals, are a valid pathway to much greater efforts.
 

Sooner Boomer

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It is a stepping-stone to full orbital flight operation. Their lessons, while contributing to lesser goals, are a valid pathway to much greater efforts.
Yes, a >very small< stepping stone in the goal of getting to orbit. Going way up high does not get you into orbit. I just watched a bunch of stuff on da toob about this sort of thing. Going up, even into orbit (or a high velocity sub-orbit hop) is fairly straightforward. Getting back through the air, slowing down and withstanding the stresses and heat - *that's* a challenge! I guess the X-15 was the first testbed to explore this region of velocity and altitude.
[edit] looking for a completely unrelated thingy, I found this: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/hyperrev-x15/ch-7.html - The Legacy of the X-15
 

cwbullet

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I like seeing more CIV operations have success. It will hopefully drive NASA to do it safer and chearer.
 

kuririn

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what a pointless* waste of rocketry resources, both tangible and intellectual.
New Shepherd was always meant to be a testbed/technology demonstrator. The space tourist gig was never the end goal.
The technologies developed will be incorporated into New Glenn.
New Glenn will be the money earner for Blue Origin.
Heavy orbital payload lifter.
First stage has seven BE-4 engines.
Re-usable for up to 25 flights.
Blue Origin will also be manufacturing the BE-4 engine for the ULA Vulcan.
Projected maiden flight for New Glenn is late 2022.
They are also developing Blue Moon, a lunar lander.
 

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