On Sunday this week, space start up Blue Origin continued its string of successes by launching its fourth New Shepard rocket, and landing the main section safely back on Earth. This time the rocket carried what will be the crew capsule to be used for space tourism. Blue Origin has shown its prowess in its ability to safely land its rockets – this mission, it proved it can launch its crew module and safely return it to Earth, paving the way for its space tourism business and routine access to space.
The New Shepard rocket is a suborbital craft, meaning it never reaches the speed necessary to escape Earth’s gravity to make it into orbit. It does reach space, however, on a ballistic arc that takes it to an altitude of more than 300,000 feet and speeds of more than 2,200 miles per hour.
That’s enough to give any passengers or scientific payloads to get above the recognized boundary of space, and experience two and a half minutes of weightlessness. They then reenter the atmosphere, undergoing as much as 5 gs of deceleration before chutes open and land them back on Earth.
Blue Origin is also showing its prowess at marketing. The video they have of Sunday’s entire flight is nothing short of awesome. Watching it will be the best 12 minutes you spend today.
In case you don’t want to watch the whole video, here are some highlights:
Image credits: Blue Origins