WASHINGTON — Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle launched on its tenth test flight Jan. 23 as the company edges closer to flying people into space.
The vehicle, flying a mission designated NS-10, lifted off from Blue Origin’s test site in West Texas at 10:05 a.m. Eastern. The capsule reached a peak altitude of 106.9 kilometers before landing 10 minutes and 15 seconds after liftoff, about three minutes after the vehicle’s propulsion module made a powered vertical landing.
The New Shepard capsule carried eight experiments provided by NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, which arranges flights of science and technology demonstration payloads on suborbital vehicles, high-altitude balloons and parabolic aircraft flights. The experiments include microgravity research in topics from fluid dynamics to planetary science, as well as payloads to measure conditions in the vehicle.
The launch was scheduled for last month but postponed because of problems with ground infrastructure at the launch site. Original plans called for the flight to carry nine experiments but one, the Suborbital Flight Experiment Monitor-2 payload from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, was not included on the final manifest released by the company, which did not disclose the reason for the change.
“Testing technologies in suborbital space with ...