The New Shepard crew capsule outfitted with astronaut experience upgrades landing at Launch Site One. | Photo courtesy Blue Origin
Thursday morning, from their launch facility located 120 miles east of El Paso, Blue Origin successfully completed its 14th mission to space and back for the New Shepard program.
Company officials shared that Mission NS-14 featured a crew capsule outfitted with astronaut experience upgrades for upcoming flights with passengers onboard.
Also today during ascent, the booster rotated at 2-3 degrees per second. This is done to give future passengers a 360-degree view of space during the flight.
“This flight continued to prove the robustness and stability of the New Shepard system and the BE-3PM liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine,” Blue Origin officials said.
Officials added “All mission crew supporting this launch exercised strict social distancing and safety measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks to personnel, customers, and surrounding communities.”
Also onboard were more than 50,000 postcards from Blue Origin’s nonprofit Club for the Future. The Club has now flown over 100,000 postcards to space and back from students around the world. For more information about the club, click here.
Capsule upgrades included:
- Speakers in the cabin with a microphone and a push-to-talk button at each seat so astronauts can continuously talk to Mission Control.
- First flight of the crew alert system with a panel at each seat relaying important safety messages to passengers.
- Cushioned wall linings and sound suppression devices to reduce ambient noise inside the capsule.
- Environmental systems, including a cooling system and humidity controls to regulate temperature and prevent capsule windows from fogging during flight, as well as carbon dioxide scrubbing.
- Six seats.
KEY MISSION STATS
- 15th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in program, including pad escape test in 2012).
- The crew capsule reached an apogee of 347,568 ft above ground level (AGL) / 351,215 ft mean sea level (MSL) (105 km AGL/107 km MSL).
- The booster reached an apogee of 347,211 ft AGL / 350,858 ft MSL (105 km AGL/106 km MSL).
- The mission elapsed time was 10 min, 10 sec and the max ascent velocity was 2,242 mph / 3,609 km/h.