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Jeff Bezos’ personal area firm Blue Origin is ready to launch the fourteenth take a look at flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule, a system designed to hold folks on brief journeys to the sting of area.
The mission doesn’t have passengers on board, though the capsule on high of the rocket is designed to hold as many as six folks for future flights. Often known as NS-14, this mission additionally marks the primary flight of a brand new rocket booster and an upgraded crew capsule. The rocket booster and capsule that flew Blue Origin’s NS-13 mission in October stays operational, with the corporate saying it’s now devoted to flying microgravity analysis payloads.
NS-14’s new capsule options a number of upgrades to Blue Origin’s astronaut expertise.
“The upgrades embrace enhancements to environmental options equivalent to acoustics and temperature regulation contained in the capsule, crew show panels, and audio system with a microphone and push-to-talk button at every seat. The mission may even take a look at various astronaut communication and security alert methods,” the corporate mentioned in a weblog put up.
The inside of the newest New Shepard capsule
New Shepard is designed to carrying folks on a journey previous the sting of area, with the capsules on earlier take a look at flights reaching an altitude of greater than 340,000 toes (or greater than 100 kilometers). The capsule spends as a lot as 10 minutes in zero gravity earlier than returning to Earth, with large home windows to present passengers a view.
Blue Origin famous that “all mission crew supporting this launch are exercising strict social distancing and security measures to mitigate COVID-19 dangers to personnel, clients, and surrounding communities.”
Bezos personally funds Blue Origin’s growth by promoting a part of his inventory in Amazon. Whereas he has beforehand mentioned that he sells about $1 billion of Amazon shares yearly to fund the area firm, Bezos has lately elevated his gross sales of Amazon inventory, cashing out greater than $10 billion value in 2020.