Spaceflight company Blue Origin is scheduled to conduct a suborbital test of its New Shepard rocket at 12:40 p.m ET. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos started Blue Origin in 2000. New Shepard, named for NASA astronaut Alan Shepard, will launch from the company’s Van Horn, Texas launch facility.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s spaceflight company Blue Origin is scheduled to launch its New Shepard rocket to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere today. If all goes according to plan, the suborbital test—dubbed Mission NS-13—will lift off from Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility at 12:40 p.m. ET.
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If successful, this will be the 13th New Shepard mission and the seventh suborbital flight for this specific rocket—a record for rocket reuse. (SpaceX’s Falcon 9, by comparison, has only been reused six times.) A livestream of the launch will begin 30 minutes before the scheduled lift-off. You can watch it here:
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New Shepard is powered by a BE-3 engine, which generates roughly 110,000 pound-forces of thrust at launch. The rocket will ferry 12 payloads to the edge of space, including an experiment to test plants’ ability to grow and thrive in microgravity, and a test of a new way to attach small probes to asteroids.
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One of the payloads—the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration—is designed to test lunar landing technologies in advance of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to put boots back on the moon by 2024. In April, Blue Origin’s National Team, which
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