Blue Origin demonstrated the versatility of the New Shepard system by taking 8 NASA-sponsored research and technology payloads into space Jan. 23, 2019.
This flight was dedicated to NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, an essential program for researchers providing access to microgravity for technology development. Blue supports NASA’s Flight Opportunities program and its role in perfecting technology for a future human presence in space.
New Shepard’s reusability is lowering launch costs and creating routine access to space. Lowering the cost of microgravity research increases the opportunities for universities, government researchers and entrepreneurs to test payloads and technologies in space.
The launch was the 10th successful mission for the New Shepard program and the 4th flight for this vehicle. It was another great practice run towards regular payload flights with our growing fleet of launch vehicles.
“A perfect day. New Shepard has now racked up 10 consecutive successful launches, nine consecutive successful booster landings, three consecutive successful escape tests, and 11 consecutive successful crew capsule landings (including a pad escape),” said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin’s founder. “Today’s mission was the fourth flight of this particular tail number — all with minimal refurbishment between flights.
“Step-by-step, we’re getting close to human flight,” he added. “And all of this learning is being incorporated into New Glenn too.”
Flying New Shepard more frequently is critically important to the future of Blue Origin. It moves the company towards its ultimate goal — to lower the cost of access to space and move heavy industry off Earth so we can use space to benefit Earth.
Additionally, the continued success and proven stability of this configuration on a subscale confirms the existing methods, operations and technology needed for larger scale programs.
In an upcoming mission, New Shepard will take payloads to space from around the world.