Blue Origin Flight Test Points Way to Space

Photos by Blue Origin

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program sends a hearty congratulations to Blue Origin today after the company performed its first developmental flight test of the New Shepard spacecraft and booster! The flight test saw the prototype spacecraft soar to 307,000 feet above West Texas on Wednesday before the spacecraft separated and parachuted back to the ground. Blue Origin, the company behind the spacecraft, booster and the new BE-3 liquid-fueled, cryogenic engine, worked with Commercial Crew early in the development of the vehicle and rocket engine though NASA did not have a hand in this flight test.

Company founder Jeff Bezos released a statement about the flight:

“Today we flew the first developmental test flight of our New Shepard space vehicle. Our 110,000-lbf thrust liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen BE-3 engine worked flawlessly, powering New Shepard through Mach 3 to its planned test altitude of 307,000 feet. Guidance, navigation and control was nominal throughout max Q and all of ascent. The in-space separation of the crew capsule from the propulsion module was perfect. Any astronauts on board would have had a very nice journey into space and a smooth return.”

Read his full statement here.


4 thoughts on “Blue Origin Flight Test Points Way to Space”

  1. Fantastic! I love seeing NASA working with private companies to extend our reach; lending a helping hand. I really wish you all had more funding to do more things yourselves but lending expertise to those with funds is a great extension!

  2. I would like to see NASA contract with Blue Origin to give the astronauts training rides on the New Sheppard vehicle and capsule. I think that this will be more like practice sorties that military pilots use to maintain flight training requirements. Also, the new astronauts will be able to get their “astronaut wings” with a sub-orbital designation on them. So that when they do launch on the F9, Atlas V or the SLS they will have an idea of what to expect.

  3. Congratulations to Blue Origin! It will be great to see them scale up in the next couple of years. Hopefully it happens sooner, rather than later. May they have few stumbling blocks…

    NASA needs to increase, and expand, the Commercial Crew contracts tenfold! If only Congress would let them. It is unfortunate that they could not have put out a contract for relaunchable rockets themselves decades ago. That would have saved us billions to use on other projects, just one the civilian side alone. Imagine the military side…?

    The Commercial Crew contracts need to expand. And expand in numerous ways., not just launch vehicles. What if NASA created their own Xprizes? Or gave a significant amount more to the Xprize organization? That would be huge for our space future.

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