What is New Shephard, the rocket system built by Blue Origin?


Team Udayavani, Oct 15, 2020, 11:20 AM IST

Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launched its first mission of 2020 on Oct 13, flying a New Shepard sub-orbital rocket from its West Texas testing facility.

This particular rocket has flown a total of seven times, and this  was the 13th flight of a New Shepard vehicle overall.

Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is our reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line, the internationally recognized boundary of space.

According to Indian Express, the rocket system consists of two parts, the cabin or capsule and the rocket or the booster. The cabin can accommodate experiments from small mini payloads up to 100 kg.

The report further states that the cabin is designed for six people and sits atop a 60-feet tall rocket and separates from it before crossing the Karman line, after which both vehicles fall back to the Earth. The system is a fully reusable, vertical takeoff and vertical landing space vehicle that accelerates for about 2.5 minutes before the engine cuts off.

After separating from the booster, the capsule free falls in space, while the booster performs an autonomously controlled vertical landing back to Earth. The capsule, on the other hand, lands back with the help of parachutes.

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