Successful escape, landing for Blue Origin's rocket

2016-10-05 20:10
In this image made from video provided by Blue Origin, the New Shepard capsule prepares to return to the ground during a test of the escape system in west Texas. (Blue Origin via AP)

In this image made from video provided by Blue Origin, the New Shepard capsule prepares to return to the ground during a test of the escape system in west Texas. (Blue Origin via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Miami - Blue Origin, the aerospace company headed by chief Jeff Bezos, ran a successful test on Wednesday of an emergency escape function, aimed at saving space travellers' lives in case of catastrophe.

The New Shepard rocket blasted off from a Texas launchpad, then its unmanned capsule separated in mid-air about 45 seconds after lift-off, at a height of about 4 900m.

Powered by an escape motor beneath the capsule, the gumdrop-shaped spacecraft tossed and tumbled a bit before floating back to Earth with the help of parachutes.

"All astronauts on board would have had a pretty exhilarating ride, but a safe ride," said a commentator on Blue Origin's live webcast.

Ahead of the launch, Bezos said the force of the capsule's escape would likely spell the end for the booster, or the portion of the rocket that propels the capsule to space.

"The booster was never designed to survive an in-flight escape," Bezos wrote in a blog post before the launch, noting that prior to Wednesday's launch, the booster had already been flown four times.

"The capsule escape motor will slam the booster with 70 000 pounds (31 700kg) of off-axis force delivered by searing hot exhaust."

However, cheers erupted at mission control as the somewhat scorched and battered looking booster made its way back to Earth as if in reverse, its engines firing as it hovered over the ground and gradually set itself down, upright.

Both Blue Origin and its competitor, SpaceX, are capable of landing their rockets back on land, as part of a larger effort to make rocket parts reusable in the coming years.

Bezos said the company plans a retirement party for the booster, which was Blue Origin's first to fly into space and return for an upright landing, before putting it on display in a museum.

The New Shepard rocket is designed to eventually carry space tourists to the edge of space - defined as the Karman line about 100km above the Earth's sea level - and back, perhaps as early as 2018.

The cost of a ticket has not yet been revealed.

Read more on:    spacex  |  us  |  space exploration

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.