Blue Origin

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Blue Origin

#1 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:12 am

Blue Origin aims to fly first passengers into space as early as April

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/b ... il-rcna224


Blue Origin aims to fly first passengers into space as early as April
The company on Thursday completed the fourteenth test flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule.

Jan. 14, 2021, 2:22 PM MST
By Michael Sheetz, CNBC
After years in development, Jeff Bezos’ private space company Blue Origin aims to carry its first passengers on a ride to the edge of space in a few months.

Blue Origin on Thursday completed the fourteenth test flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule. Called NS-14, the successful test flight featured the debut of a new booster and an upgraded capsule.

Beyond the upgrades, CNBC has learned that NS-14 also marked one of the last remaining steps before Blue Origin flies its first crew to space.

The flight was the first of two “stable configuration” test flights, people familiar with Blue Origin’s plans told CNBC. Stable configuration means that the company plans to avoid making major changes between this flight and the next.

Additionally, those people said that Blue Origin aims to launch the second test flight within six weeks, or by late February, and the first crewed flight six weeks after that, or by early April.

Blue Origin’s next flight, NS-15, will also include a test of loading and unloading the crew, the people said.

The company declined CNBC’s request for comment on its plans for New Shepard.

An ambitious timeline
The New Shepard schedule is ambitious, one of the people cautioned, with the goal of flying every six weeks coming from the company’s top leadership. Blue Origin’s prior mission NS-13 flew in October, after being delayed from September due to a power supply issue – and it also came after a nine-month hiatus between flights.

The person also noted that one of the outstanding tasks for New Shepard’s NS-15 launch is to finish software qualification review, which they said is not expected to be finished until late March or even April.

New Shepard is designed to carry people on rides past the edge of space, reaching an altitude of more than 340,000 feet (or more than 100 kilometers). The capsule spends several minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth, with massive windows to give passengers a view. Both the rockets and the capsules are reusable, with the boosters returning to land vertically and the capsules landing on control of a set of parachutes.

The NS-14 mission featured multiple upgrades to the crew capsule, including an audio push-to-talk system for astronauts to talk to mission control, a new crew alert system panel at each seat, cushioned wall linings and sound suppression devices to reduce noise in the capsule, and the addition of environmental systems such as air condition and humidity controls.

Blue Origin was founded in 2000 by Bezos, and now has more than 3,500 employees with its headquarters in Kent, Washington. To date, Blue Origin has launched New Shepard 14 times successfully, and landed the rocket’s booster 13 consecutive times. The company has built four New Shepard boosters in total, the fourth of which launched on Thursday for the first time.

Its third booster has flown seven times consecutively and will be used to fly microgravity research payloads for NASA and other customers. New Shepard is a fully autonomous system, with no pilots on board.

Bezos personally funds Blue Origin’s development by selling part of his stock in Amazon. While he has previously said that he sells about $1 billion of Amazon shares annually to fund the space company, Bezos has recently increased his sales of Amazon stock, cashing out more than $10 billion worth in 2020.

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Re: Blue Origin

#2 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:25 pm

Old beardy Branson has been threatening to do this every year since about 2011... 8-|

Multiple deaths and aborted missions later...

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2020/12/14/ ... nch-abort/
Depressed, feeling a slump, then remember Lift = Coefficient of Lift x 1/2 x ρ x V-squared X S!

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Re: Blue Origin

#3 Post by PHXPhlyer » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:49 pm

Jeff Bezos to launch himself into space for first time next month

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/ ... h-n1269799

Jeff Bezos to launch himself into space for first time next month
"On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend," Bezos announced on Instagram.

Jeff Bezos announced on Monday that he and his brother will join the first crewed spaceflight from his private rocket company on July 20 — just 15 days after he is set to step down as chief executive of Amazon.

"Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space," he wrote in an Instagram post. "On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend."

In May, the Amazon founder's rocket company, Blue Origin, announced that its first flight aboard its New Shepard rocket, designed to carry up to six tourists per flight, would auction off one seat to the highest bidder.


The auction, on BlueOrigin.com, was held in three parts, according to the company. The first phase, from May 5 to May 19, allowed people to bid any amount on the website. After May 19, the bids were unsealed, and on June 12, Blue Origin will hold a live auction to determine the winner.

The money raised will be donated to Blue Origin's foundation, Club for the Future, which promotes STEM education initiatives, the company said.

Bidding for a joyride in outer space next to the Amazon founder was already at $2.8 million with nearly 6,000 participants from 143 countries, according to the company.

In his announcement on Monday, Bezos said: “To see the earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with the earth, with humanity — it’s one earth."

Has anyone here bid on a seat yet? :-?

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Re: Blue Origin

#4 Post by G-CPTN » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:53 pm

Is there standing room available?

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Re: Blue Origin

#5 Post by PHXPhlyer » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:56 pm

Steerage, maybe? :-??

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Re: Blue Origin

#6 Post by Boac » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:46 pm

I'll nominate a safe place for him to be delivered if I'm out.

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Re: Blue Origin

#7 Post by PHXPhlyer » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:28 pm

Jeff Bezos is going to space for 11 minutes. Here's how risky that is

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/10/tech/jef ... index.html

New York (CNN Business)Jeff Bezos can have anything. He could circle the globe in a private jet or sail it forever in a fleet of megayachts. He could afford to buy a the whole NFL; he could buy an archipelago for his family and friends; he could buy over 65,000 Bugatti Chirons (base price $2.9 million), even though only 500 are being built. As the world's richest person, the possibilities are endless. But Bezos appears ready to risk it all for an 11-minute ride to space.

Just how risky is his decision?

The answer isn't what you might expect. Space travel is, historically, fraught with danger. Though the risks are not necessarily astronomical for Bezos' jaunt to the cosmos, as his space company Blue Origin has spent the better part of the last decade running the suborbital New Shepard rocket he'll be riding on through a series of successful test flights. (Also, being in space is Bezos' lifelong dream.)
Still, what Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and the winner of an online auction, will be doing -- going on the very first crewed flight of New Shepard, a fully autonomous suborbital rocket and spacecraft system designed to take ticket holders on brief joy rides to space -- is not entirely without risk.
Here's what Bezos' flight will look like and the extent to which people are taking their lives in their hands when they go to outer space these days.

When most people think about spaceflight, they think about an astronaut circling the Earth, floating in space, for at least a few days.
That is not what the Bezos brothers and their fellow passengers will be doing .
They'll be going up and coming right back down, and they'll be doing it in less time -- about 11 minutes -- than it takes most people to get to work.
Suborbital flights differ greatly from orbital flights of the type most of us think of when we think of spaceflight. Blue Origin's New Shepard flights will be brief, up-and-down trips, though they will go more than 62 miles above Earth, which is widely considered to be the edge of outer space.

Orbital rockets need to drum up enough power to hit at least 17,000 miles per hour, or what's known as orbital velocity, essentially giving a spacecraft enough energy to continue whipping around the Earth rather than being dragged immediately back down by gravity.
Suborbital flights require far less power and speed. That means less time the rocket is required to burn, lower temperatures scorching the outside of the spacecraft, less force and compression ripping at the spacecraft, and generally fewer opportunities for something to go very wrong.
New Shepard's suborbital fights hit about about three times the speed of sound — roughly 2,300 miles per hour — and fly directly upward until the rocket expends most of its fuel. The crew capsule will then separate from the rocket at the top of the trajectory and briefly continue upward before the capsule almost hovers at the top of its flight path, giving the passengers a few minutes of weightlessness. It works sort of like an extended version of the weightlessness you experience when you reach the peak of a roller coaster hill, just before gravity brings your cart — or, in Bezos' case, your space capsule -- screaming back down toward the ground.

The New Shepard capsule then deploys a large plume of parachutes to slow its descent to less than 20 miles per hour before it hits the ground.
The rocket, flying separately, re-ignites its engines and uses its on-board computers to execute a pinpoint, upright landing. The booster landing looks similar to what SpaceX does with its Falcon 9 rockets, though those rockets are far more powerful than New Shepard and — yes — more prone to exploding on impact.
How big are the risks?
J
Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule, which is fully autonomous and does not require a pilot, has never had an explosive mishap in 15 test flights. And the nature of Bezos' flight means it comes with some inherently lower risks than more ambitious space travel attempts. But that doesn't mean the risk is zero, either.
Because suborbital flights don't require as much speed or the intense process of trying to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere at incredible speeds, they're considered much less risky than orbital flights. With an orbital re-entry, a spacecraft's external temperatures can reach up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit, and astronauts can experience 4.5 Gs of force that is also placed upon the spacecraft, all while the ever-thickening atmosphere whips around the capsule.
High speeds and high altitudes come with inherent risks, and even small errors can have big consequences. Earth's atmosphere is generally not considered survivable for significant amounts of time above altitudes of 50,000 feet without a spacesuit, and Bezos will be traveling up to 350,000 feet. But the capsule he travels in will be pressurized, so he doesn't need a special suit to keep him safe, and he'll have access to an oxygen mask if the cabin loses pressure. The spacecraft is also equipped with an abort system designed to jettison the New Shepard capsule and passengers away from the rocket in case of emergency. There's also back-up safety features to help the capsule land gently even if a couple of its parachutes fail to deploy.

But even still, there is no way to absolutely guarantee safety should New Shepard malfunction.
Even though suborbital flights are less risky than orbital missions, they can still be deadly.
One of Virgin Galactic's suborbital space planes, for example, broke apart in 2014 when one of the vehicle's copilots prematurely deployed the feathering system designed to keep the craft stable as it made its descent. The added drag on the plane ripped it to pieces, killing one of the pilots.
(Blue Origin competitor Virgin Galactic has since had three successful test flights of a revamped version of its SpaceShipTwo space plane.)
Blue Origin has not encountered similar tragic accidents during its testing phase, though — as an old industry adage goes — space is hard.
But, Bezos has indicated, the risk is worth it.

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Re: Blue Origin

#8 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sat Jun 12, 2021 9:29 pm

Spare ticket for spaceflight with Jeff Bezos auctioned for $28 million

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/12/tech/jef ... index.html

New York (CNN Business)What would you pay to take a jolting, 11-minute trip into suborbital space alongside Jeff Bezos? According to bidders in an auction that wrapped up Saturday, it's worth $28 million.

The company kicked off the auction last month — before it was revealed that billionaire founder and Amazon mogul Bezos, along with his brother Mark Bezos, would be on board New Shepard's inaugural crewed mission.
Blue Origin sales director Ariane Cornell said during a livestream of the event that 7,600 people from 159 countries had registered and were able to bid in the auction, which was hosted by Boston-based RR Auction, on Saturday. The name of the winning bidder was not revealed. The flight is expected to take off from Blue Origin's facilities in West Texas town of Van Horn, on July 20.
Blue Origin, the rocket venture Bezos founded in 2000, has spent the better part of a decade testing New Shepard, the 60-foot-tall rocket and capsule system. It will fmark the first time humans have flown aboard the fully autonomous New Shepard vehicle after 15 uncrewed test flights carried out by the company since 2015.

The company's ultimate goal is to sell tickets to the general public, offering brief but jarring trips to more than 62 miles above Earth for scenic views, a few minutes of weightlessness, and bragging rights. The 62-mile mark is the altitude that is internationally considered to mark the boundary of outer space, though the US government considers it to be more around 50 miles. Throughout history, people have been considered astronauts — and been awarded metals, pins or "wings" — for traveling above either mark.
The proceeds from the auction that wrapped up Saturday will be donated to Blue Origin's Club for the Future, which aims to promote science, technology, engineering, and math education among young students. But it was also a litmus test for how much wealthy consumers might be willing to pay for a brief flight into the upper atmosphere.
The $28 million price point the ticket sold for is far more than what Blue Origin's direct competitor, Virgin Galactic, has sold its tickets for. Though Galactic has yet to fly paying customers, it has already sold roughly 600 tickets for between $200,000 and $250,000 each.
But it's also far less than what it likely costs to go on a more immersive spaceflight, such as the orbital trips Elon Musk's SpaceX is offering that will allow people to spend days orbiting the Earth, or even stay aboard the International Space Station. Financial details of those planned trips have not been disclosed, but one government report said a SpaceX seat would cost as much as $55 million — not including fees for use of the space station.
The flight profile of a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket is far different from that of an orbital SpaceX rocket.

New Shepard's suborbital fights hit about about three times the speed of sound — roughly 2,300 miles per hour — and fly directly upward until the rocket expends most of its fuel. The crew capsule will then separate from the rocket at the top of the trajectory and briefly continue upward before the capsule almost hovers at the top of its flight path, giving the passengers a few minutes of weightlessness. It works sort of like an extended version of the weightlessness you experience when you reach the peak of a roller coaster hill, just before gravity brings your cart — or, in Bezos' case, your space capsule -- screaming back down toward the ground.
The New Shepard capsule then deploys a large plume of parachutes to slow its descent to less than 20 miles per hour before it hits the ground.

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