Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew capsule is designed to send up to six people to the edge of space and back. (Blue Origin Photoillustration)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture is planning to live-stream the first test flight of its first passenger-friendly space capsule on Thursday.
If all goes according to plan, Blue Origin will launch a never-before-flown New Shepard crew capsule and booster from its West Texas facility on an uncrewed suborbital space trip as early as 9:45 a.m. CT (7:45 a.m. PT), with coverage streamed via Blue Origin’s website and YouTube.
Coverage is due to begin 30 minutes before launch, with the precise timing dependent on weather and technical readiness.
The capsule has been dubbed the RSS First Step. RSS stands for “Reusable Spaceship,” while First Step refers to Blue Origin’s intent to use the craft for crewed flights beginning later this year.
Blue Origin’s previous 13 New Shepard test flights made use of two earlier-generation capsules and three earlier-generation boosters. In a pre-launch advisory, Blue Origin says that the new crew capsule has been outfitted with upgrades for the astronaut experience — including improvements in acoustics and temperature regulation system as well as display panels, ...