Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin endevour are the quiet participants in the commercial space race. These just release videos of the “New Shepard” suborbital vehicle test flights are really exciting.
ABOUT NEW SHEPARD:
This is a much larger VTOL craft than we saw in the Lunar Lander challenge partisipants.
Crew Size = 4
Gross mass = 75,000 kg (165,000 lb)
Unfuelled mass = 20,569 kg (45,346 lb)
Height = 15.00 m (49.00 ft)
Diameter = 7.00 m (22.90 ft)
“Our New Shepard system will take astronauts to space on suborbital journeys. The New Shepard vehicle includes a Crew Capsule carrying three or more astronauts atop a separate rocket-powered Propulsion Module, launched from our West Texas Launch Site.
Following liftoff, the combined vehicles accelerate for approximately two and a half minutes. The Propulsion Module then shuts off its rocket engines and separates from the Crew Capsule. The Propulsion Module will finish its flight, descend to Earth, and autonomously perform a rocket-powered vertical landing.
The Crew Capsule will go on to coast to the edge of space, providing astronauts with a view to the curvature of the Earth and the beauty of our planet. After descent and reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, the Crew Capsule will land under parachutes near the launch site.” – Blue Origin