New Shepard landing on the pad in West Texas on October 13, 2020, with the NASA Lunar Landing Sensor Demo onboard. | Photo courtesy Blue Origin
Tuesday morning, in the desert north of Van Horn, a two hour drive east of El Paso, Blue Origin successfully completed the 13th New Shepard mission to space and back, and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle, a record.
There were 12 payloads onboard including the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration under the NASA Tipping Point partnership.
“Today’s flight was inspiring. Using New Shepard to simulate landing on the Moon is an exciting precursor to what the Artemis program will bring to America,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin. “Thanks to NASA for partnering with us, and congrats to the Blue Origin team on taking another step toward returning to the Moon to stay.”
The lunar landing sensor demo was the first payload to be mounted on the exterior of a New Shepard booster and tested technology designed to achieve high accuracy landing. This will enable long-term lunar exploration, as well as future Mars missions.
KEY MISSION STATS
- 7th consecutive successful flight to space and back for this New Shepard vehicle (a record – previous booster completed 5 consecutive successful flights before retirement).
- 13th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in program).
- The crew capsule reached an apogee of 346,964 ft above ground level (AGL) / 350,611 ft mean sea level (MSL) (105 km AGL / 106 km MSL).
- The booster reached an apogee of 346,563 ft AGL / 350,210 ft MSL (105 km AGL / 106 km MSL).
- The mission elapsed time was 10 min 9 sec and the max ascent velocity was 2,232 mph / 3,592 km/h.
- The mission carried tens of thousands of postcards from Blue Origin’s nonprofit, Club for the Future, some of which include a NASA Artemis stamp
Catch the mission webcast replay on Blue Origin’s YouTube page