At this year’s AirVenture festivities in Oshkosh, starry-eyed dreamers, wannabe astronauts and general aviation enthusiasts were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with Blue Origin’s actual New Shepard reusable rocket, as well as its one-of-a-kind crew capsule that boasts large windows that will eventually give commercial space passengers an incredible view of the stars. The luckier among us even got to “ride” in the capsule on a simulated launch and landing; however, that voyage excluded the presumably breathtaking view.
This week, Blue Origin took another step toward fulfilling owner Jeff Bezos’ quest for commercial space travel, as New Shepard flew for the seventh time and completed its sixth consecutive successful test flight. Bezos called the flight a “great ride,” as Mission 7 included the rocket’s next-generation booster and 12 commercial, research and education payloads. It also marked the debut of Crew Capsule 2.0, which has windows 2.4-feet wide by 3.6-feet tall. According to Blue Origin, the capsule reached an apogee of 322,405 feet AGL/326,075 feet MSL, while the booster reached an apogee of 322,032 feet AGL/325,702 feet MSL.
Earlier this month, Blue Origin announced a partnership with the Xerox company PARC “to enhance awareness and interest in the vast possibilities made possible by conducting R&D in space.” The goal of the partnership is cooperation in “Accelerating Research in Space” by conducting an advanced technology R&D experiment on a future Blue Origin flight.
“This is an exciting partnership at an exciting time,” said Austin Pugh, Senior Director of Global Business Development at PARC. “We look forward to working with Blue Origin’s world class team of scientists and engineers on gaining new insights from performing R&D in space. When a truly multi-disciplinary team of scientists come together to think about how to tackle big challenges, the possibilities are endless.”