Blue Origin Scrubs New Shepard Suborbital Microgravity Flight Due to Weather

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Today’s NS-23 launch is scrubbed due to weather. We’re continuing to track the weather in West Texas. Our next launch window for NS-23 opens tomorrow at 8:30 AM CDT / 13:30 UTC. Live webcast starts at T-20 minutes.

New Shepard’s 23rd mission, a dedicated payloads flight, will fly 36 payloads from academia, research institutions, and students across the globe.

(more…)

NS-23 to Fly 36 Payloads and Tens of Thousands of Club for the Future Postcards to Space

New Shepard (NS-14) lifts off from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas. (Credits: Blue Origin)

SEATTLE (Blue Origin PR) — On August 31, New Shepard’s 23rd mission, a dedicated payloads flight, will fly 36 payloads from academia, research institutions, and students across the globe. The launch window opens at 8:30 AM CDT / 13:30 UTC from Launch Site One in West Texas. 

(more…)

China’s Suborbital Space Tourism Ambitions Heat Up as Two Companies Seek to Challenge Blue Origin & Virgin Galactic

CAS Space crewed suborbital vehicle in flight. (Credit: CAS Space)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Two Chinese companies — CAS Space and Space Transportation — are pursuing the suborbital tourism market, with the former closely copying Blue Origin’s fully reusable New Shepard vehicle and the latter developing a winged vehicle that could be adapted for hypersonic point-to-point travel between distant locations on Earth.

CAS Space, a.k.a., Guangzhou Zhongke Aerospace Exploration Technology Co., Ltd., is developing a single-stage reusable rocket that lands under its own power topped with a capsule that descends under three parachutes.

(more…)

Orbital Reef Space Station Advances to Design Phase After NASA Review

Sierra Space and Blue Origin Successfully Complete Orbital Reef System Definition Review

Orbital Reef Space Station, led by co-lead investment partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, advances to design phase after NASA review. (Image Credit: Business Wire)

LOUISVILLE, Colo. & KENT, Wash. (Sierra Space PR) — The Orbital Reef team, led by partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, has successfully completed its System Definition Review (SDR) with NASA.

(more…)

Artemis I Carries the Future of NASA with It

The Space Launch System rocket fairing with ESA and NASA logos on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. The new ESA logo and NASA’s ‘worm’ logo will be along for the ride on the first full mission of the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Of the six launches known to be scheduled to close out August, there’s only one – Artemis I — that truly matters in any real sense. The others will be duly recorded but little remembered in what could be the busiest launch year in human history.

(more…)

Launchapalooza: 26 New Boosters Debuting Worldwide

Vega-C lifts off on its maiden flight on July 13, 2022. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the first seven months of the year, five new satellite launch vehicles from Europe, China, Russia and South Korea flew successfully for the first time. As impressive as that is, it was a mere opening act to a busy period that could see at least 20 additional launchers debut around the world.

(more…)

Blue Origin Announces Aug. 4 for New Shepard’s Next Flight

NS-22 spaceflight participants (Credit: Blue Origin)

Blue Origin Mission Update

Blue Origin today announced its sixth human flight, NS-22, will lift off from Launch Site One on Thursday, August 4. The launch window opens at 8:30 AM CDT / 13:30 UTC. The webcast will start at T-30 minutes. 

(more…)

Commercial Space Travelers Outnumbered Professional Astronauts in First Half of 2022

Axiom Mission 1 astronauts, left to right, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, Michael López-Alegría, and Eytan Stibbe. The astronauts are approved by NASA and its international partners for Axiom Space’s first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. (Credits: Chris Gunn – Axiom Space)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The first half of 2022 saw more commercial travelers — 16 — launch into space than the 10 professional astronauts who work for government-run space agencies. However, those numbers come with an asterisk or two.

Four of the 14 astronauts who launched into orbit flew on Axiom Space’s privately funded and operated crew flight to the International Space Station (ISS). Blue Origin launched 12 individuals into space on two flights of the company’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle.

The other 10 astronauts who launched to ISS and the Tiangong space station worked fulltime for NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), China Manned Space Agency, or Russia’s Roscosmos State Space Corporation. SpaceX flew American and European astronauts to ISS on the company-owned Crew Dragon spacecraft under a NASA contract. The Russians and Chinese flew aboard government-owned and operated spacecraft.

(more…)

Space For Humanity Will Send First Egyptian to Space Aboard Blue Origin’s NS-22 Flight

Sara Sabry is selected as Space For Humanity’s second Citizen Astronaut and will fly on NS-22, making her the first Egyptian to ever visit Space. (Credit: Space for Humanity)

DENVER, July 22, 2022 (Space for Humanity PR) — Today, Space For Humanity (S4H), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, announced its selection committee has chosen Sara Sabry to become the organization’s second sponsored Citizen Astronaut. Sara will become the first Egyptian to fly to space when she flies aboard Blue Origin’s NS-22 flight.

Sara, 29, is an Egyptian mechanical and biomedical engineer and founder of Deep Space Initiative (DSI), a nonprofit which aims to increase accessibility for space research. Sara became Egypt’s first female analog astronaut in 2021, when she was selected to complete a two week analog Moon mission, which simulated the extreme conditions astronauts experience in Space. She will join five other crew members including Coby Cotton, Mario Ferreira, Vanessa O’Brien, Clint Kelly III, and Steve Young aboard New Shepard to experience the cognitive shift of the Overview Effect and incorporate that new found perspective into a social impact project with the support of S4H’s Citizen Astronaut Program (CAP).

“When we dare to dream big, we achieve things deemed impossible, we break boundaries, write history, and set new challenges for the future,” said Sabry. “I am incredibly excited that Space For Humanity has offered me this opportunity and I am honored to be representing Egypt in Space for the first time. My ancestors have always dreamt big and achieved the impossible, and I hope to bring that back. This is just the beginning.”

(more…)

First Egyptian and Portuguese Astronauts to join Dude Perfect Cofounder on New Shepard’s 22nd Flight

NS-22 spaceflight participants (Credit: Blue Origin)

SEATTLE, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin today announced the crew flying on its NS-22 mission will include Dude Perfect cofounder Coby Cotton, Portuguese entrepreneur Mário Ferreira, British-American mountaineer Vanessa O’Brien, technology leader Clint Kelly III, Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry, and telecommunications executive Steve Young. Sara will become the first person from Egypt to fly to space; Mário will become the first from Portugal. Vanessa will become the first woman to reach extremes on land, sea, and air, completing the Explorers’ Extreme Trifecta, a Guinness World Record.

(more…)

Suborbital Spaceflight by the Numbers

New Shepard launches on its 21st flight of the program on June 4, 2022. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Part II of II

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The first half of 2022 was a busy period in suborbital space with 23 launches conducted that did not involve tests of ballistic missiles or defensive systems. Twelve people flew above the Karman line, new boosters and space technologies were tested, and the first commercial suborbital launch was conducted from Australia. And some science was done.

We covered the above mentioned flights in depth in a story published on Tuesday. In this piece we’ll look a broader look at who launched what, when, where, why and on what.

(more…)

A Busy Six Months as Suborbital Spaceflight Comes Into its Own

New Shepard lands after the NS-21 flight. (Credit: Blue Origin webcast)

Part I of II

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For decades, the suborbital launch sector was largely a backwater. Militaries tested ballistic missiles, scientists conducted experiments, and engineers tested new technologies. A sounding rocket is small potatoes compared with orbital rocket launches and the glamor of human spaceflight. Few people paid much attention.

All that has changed in recent years as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin and their billionaire owners — Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos — started launching themselves and others on suborbital joyrides. Startups have been conducting suborbital flight tests of new orbital launch vehicles designed to serve the booming smalls satellite market. Suborbital has become a much more interesting sector.

This year has been no exception. The first half of 2022 saw Blue Origin send 12 people into space on two New Shepard flights, a Chinese company conduct six launches in a program to develop aa suborbital spaceplane and hypersonic transport, South Korea and Iran perform flight tests of three different smallsat launchers, Germany test technologies for reusable rockets, and first-ever commercial launch from Australia. And, a great deal of science was done.

(more…)

World View Assembles Space Flight Safety Experts from NASA, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin to Establish Safety Program and Technical Oversight Committee

The new team builds on World View’s existing safety protocols as the company readies for human flights in 2024

High-altitude crew capsule. (Credit: World View Enterprises)

TUSCON, Ariz. (World View PR)World View, the leading stratospheric exploration and space tourism company, hired three new industry experts to establish and lead a new safety program that includes the company’s testing and safety protocols ahead of human space flights starting in 2024. The new personnel will build on World View’s existing safety protocols and risk assessment procedures that have successfully guided more than 100 uncrewed flights and remote sensing missions for commercial and government customers. In turn, the committee’s work will provide the additional measures needed for World View to begin space tourism missions in two years.

(more…)

General Hyten Joins Blue Origin as Executive Director of Club for the Future and Strategic Advisor

John Hyten

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin today announced that General John Hyten (Ret.) will serve as executive director for its foundation, Club for the Future, and as a strategic advisor to senior leadership. General Hyten brings decades of experience as a space operations and acquisitions officer and held multiple assignments that included leading Air Force Space Command and U.S. Strategic Command.

“We are deeply honored to have General Hyten apply his tremendous leadership skills and space expertise to Blue Origin and Club for the Future. His knowledge of the space industry and his passion for inspiring the next generation make him a natural fit for these roles,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin.

In his role with Club for the Future, General Hyten will focus on community outreach and engagement activities to empower students to become scientists, engineers, and explorers. General Hyten will also provide strategic counsel to Blue Origin senior leadership to help guide the company as it builds a road to space.

(more…)

Sierra Space to Open Human Spaceflight Center, Train the Future Astronaut Corps for the New Commercial Space Economy

A crewed variant of the Dream Chaser® spaceplane is currently in development and will be operational in 2026, having successfully completed its System Requirements Review (SRR) earlier this month. (Credit: Sierra Space)

Sierra Space’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Will be Led by Dr. Janet Kavandi, Sierra Space President and Veteran of Three Space Shuttle Missions

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (Sierra Space PR) Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, announced today that it is creating the world’s first fully integrated commercial human spaceflight center and astronaut training academy. Dr. Janet Kavandi, a space industry leader and veteran NASA astronaut, will lead Sierra Space’s Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy from the company’s offices at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

(more…)