Blue Origin performed its ninth test with its rocket New Shepard and, according to all reports, the test was very successful.
The test was primarily intended to test New Shepard’s emergency system, which causes the rocket’s capsule to be pushed away from the rocket itself in the event of an unexpected event.
It all went as planned and both the capsule and the rocket went to space and back to Earth as it was supposed to.
“On Mission 9, were firing the crew capsule escape motor at the highest altitude ever. We are stressing the rocket to test that astronauts can get away from an anomaly at any time during flight,”
– The company said in a statement yesterday (July 17).
The test required sending the capsule up to between 390,000 and 400,000 feet (roughly 120 kilometers) and then waiting for about 20 seconds for the booster to clear, ensuring that its exhaust wouldn’t interfere with the capsule test.
During the test flight, the rocket was loaded up with both the Blue Origin test dummy — nicknamed Mannequin Skywalker, which took its third flight to space today — and a host of science payloads.
The New Shepard program is designed to carry tourists, commercial payloads and scientific experiments on brief trips to suborbital space.