Blue Origin’s New Shepard reusable suborbital rocket system had a wholly successful mission Dec. 11, 2019.
The rocket system lifted off at 11:53 a.m., CDT. The entire test mission lasted for 10 minutes and 16 seconds.
The mission was another step towards verifying New Shepard for human spaceflight as the company continues to mature the safety and reliability of the vehicle.
New Shephard is named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space. New Shepard is designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.
This was the 6th flight for this particular New Shepard vehicle. Blue Origin has so far reused two boosters five times each consecutively, so today marks a record with this booster completing its 6th flight to space and back.
This particular rocket has been an operational payload vehicle for several flights, meaning there are no more updates to the system.
“This was also the 9th commercial payload mission for New Shepard, and we are proud to be have flown our 100th customer on board (with 23 customer payloads on board),” according to a company press release. Also on the vehicle were thousands of postcards from students around the world for the nonprofit Club for the Future. The Club’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help visualize the future of life in space.