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Blue Origin launches the New Shepard rocket for the 8th time

Konstantin Sheiko
May 7, 2018

Today, it can be stated with a high degree of certainty that the future market of space carrier providers is developing in front of our eyes, shaping up its primary contenders. On April 29th, private space company Blue Origin successfully conducted its eighth test flight of its New Shepherd rocket in Texas. Despite being postponed twice, the company launched and landed the booster rocket, while its crew capsule with a series of experiments softly landed minutes later. Blue Origin is a private space company founded by Jeff Bezos, and it has launched its third New Shepard rocket on April 29th.   

This was the eighth overall flight for the New Shepard, and the second flight for this particular vehicle. The first launched on April 29th, 2015, but crashed. Blue Origin then successfully launched and landed its second New Shepard in November that year, and proceeded to reuse the booster for four additional launches through October 2016 before retiring it. The company launched and recovered its third rocket in its only launch of 2017 in December, and that was the vehicle that was launched on April 29th.  

The New Shepherd rocket will eventually bring passengers into space, taking them on an 11-minute flight in a capsule that will land with the help of parachutes, while the booster comes back down with a powered landing. Blue Origin has ambitions beyond just taking space tourists to orbit. It showed off its plans for its New Glenn rocket last year, ferrying cargo into orbit after it launches sometime in 2020 for the first time.