Blue Origin’s New Shepard Flies for 10th Time

Blue Origin’s New Shepard flew for the 10th time on Wednesday, blasting off from the company’s west Texas launch site with a capsule full of NASA-sponsored experiments.

The crew capsule reached an apogee of 355,755 ft (67.4 miles/108.4 km) and a velocity of 2226 mph (3,582 k/hr) in a flight that lasted 10 minutes 15 seconds. The capsule landed safely under parachute while its booster touched down on a nearby landing pad.

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program sponsored eight payloads aboard the vehicle. The experiments included:

Carthage College Space Sciences Program: The Modal Propellant Gauging experiment led by Dr. Kevin Crosby is a joint effort with the NASA Kennedy Space Center Cryogenics Laboratory. It demonstrates a way to measure fuel levels in microgravity by using sound waves.

Controlled Dynamics Inc.: The Vibration Isolation Platform (VIP) aims to separate payloads from the normally occurring vibrations experienced during spaceflight. The payload led by Dr. Scott Green allows researchers to have a clear understanding of microgravity’s effects on their research results.

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab: On its second flight with Blue, the EM Field experiment will observe and collect data on the naturally occurring electromagnetic fields both inside and outside New Shepard during the launch. Principal Investigator Dr. Todd Smith will use success of this experiment to determine how global measurements of the Earth’s electromagnetic field can be conducted in the future.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Cooling tightly-packed electronics onboard a spacecraft can be challenging, and many solutions have not been able to undergo robust testing. Principal Investigator Franklin Robinson will test one of these solutions in his Flow Boiling in Microgap Coolers experiment.

Purdue University: Dr. Steven Collicott’s payload looks at Zero-Gravity Green Propellant Management Technology, which aims to help advance the use of a safer and more environmentally friendly rocket propellant by better understanding the fuel’s behavior in microgravity.

University of Central Florida: Two teams led by Dr. Josh Colwell and Dr. Addie Dove both have planetary science payloads on NS-10. The Collisions Into Dust Experiment (COLLIDE) aims to understand how dust particles react after surface contact during exploration missions to places such as the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The Collection of Regolith Experiment (CORE) addresses the unique challenge of collecting and analyzing material samples in microgravity.

University of Florida: Dr. Rob Ferl and Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul are adapting technology designed for the ISS to suborbital uses with their experiment, Validating Telemetric Imaging Hardware for Crew-Assisted and Crew-Autonomous Biological Imaging in Suborbital Applications. By recalibrating the way data is collected, the experiment will enable more biological research on suborbital missions.

  • Jeff2Space

    Congrats to Blue Origin on what looked like another successful flight and dual recovery.

    Also, as a Purdue AAE grad, I recognize the name of Steven Collicott (Zero-Gravity Green Propellant Management Technology). Cool stuff.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Congratulations to Blue Origin. This appears to be NS3, NS4 which is at the ranch is the one intended for the human missions. Hopefully it will be next to make its first flight.

  • savuporo

    Congrats to BO !

    I wonder who worked on the payload prep for all those NASA payloads, when all the workforce is supposedly furloughed ?

  • ThomasLMatula

    Meanwhile it looks like the SpaceX engineers didn’t take the locals seriously and so the nose section was blown over. Yes, winds are strong in Texas, and unpredictable…

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    Yeah, that was unfortunate. But that’s the gamble you take when you build outdoors. Thankfully, this will only slow them down a few weeks, but I hope they are planning on building the BFR indoors.

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    Congrats to BO

  • Robert Sutton

    I wonder if NS3s last flight will be after NS4s 1st and what will become of it after that

  • Robert Sutton

    Or in a tent

  • Robert Sutton

    Good question
    Maybe they are beyond such needs

  • Robert Sutton

    Maybe they can Curie favour

  • ThomasLMatula

    The Port of Brownsville is just up the channel and has lots of space/buildings to lease.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I imagine they will use NS3 for additional testing and then turn it into a gate guard somewhere. But having two vehicles on site means flights will be able to continue even if one is lost.