Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is set to conduct its tenth test flight on Tuesday – marking another step towards launching paying customers into suborbital space. With a launch window at Blue Origin’s test site in West Texas set to open at 14:30 UTC, New Shepard will also be the third test flight to carry a host of NASA experiments along for the ride.
New Shepard is the first of a potential line of vehicles for Blue Origin. The rocket and crew capsule system is aimed at the suborbital tourism market, allowing paying customers to enjoy into a few minutes of zero-G flight prior to a parachute-assisted landing.
Jeff Bezos’s company is set to charge between $200,000 and $300,000 per ticket for the short suborbital flight – per unconfirmed media reports over recent years – finding itself in a mini-space race with Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo which itself achieved another milestone just days previously.
We're taking you to space, @richardbranson pic.twitter.com/BKSjzutqRL
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) December 14, 2018
VSS Unity successfully reached the edge of space for a few minutes, earning both its pilots FAA commercial astronaut wings.
However, there is a large contrast between New Shepard and SpaceShipTwo, past just ...