WASHINGTON — Blue Origin plans to conduct the latest test flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle May 2 as the company, and others in the industry, seek ways to allow NASA-funded researchers to fly with their payloads on such missions.
The company announced on Twitter May 1 that the 11th flight of the New Shepard vehicle is scheduled for May 2 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern from the company’s test site in West Texas. The announcement came a couple hours after the publication of a Notice to Airmen, or NOTAM, by the Federal Aviation Administration restricting airspace surrounding the test site for a four-day period starting May 2. Such restrictions have, in the past, been associated with New Shepard tests.
The flight, the first by the vehicle in more than three months, will carry 38 microgravity research payloads, Blue Origin tweeted. The company did not respond to an email request for information about the upcoming test.
NASA separately announced May 1 that will have nine payloads on the flight through its Flight Opportunities program for suborbital experiments. The payloads include 3D printing experiments and biomedical research as well as testing of a centrifuge that can simulate lunar and Martian gravity ...