Blue Origin has launched its New Shepard rocket on a test flight yesterday. It was unscrewed, and it was made out of a reusable rocket and space capsule. They lifted off from the company’s West Texas launch facility. The capsule came back to Earth after separating from the rocket booster, and the booster did a good vertical landing.
Why is this mission important?
The test mission was called NS-13, and it was the 7th consecutive test flight of this rocket booster. This private spaceflight company was founded back in 2000 by Jeff Bezos. They want to launch passengers into space, too. The capsule did a clean landing 10 minutes after the start. Caitlin Dietrich said that it was really exciting and that everything went well.
NASA has big plans
For this mission, New Shepard had on its board 12 science payloads to space and then back to Earth. One of those payloads was made out of NASA’s Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration. This is the first one actually to ride to space on the New Shephard. They want to develop new landing technologies for the Artemis program from NASA. The program wants to get humans back on the moon in 2024.
This technology is the future
According to official sources, “The experiment will verify how these technologies (sensors, computers, and algorithms) work together to determine a spacecraft’s location and speed as it approaches the moon, enabling a vehicle to land autonomously on the lunar surface within 100 meters of a designated point.” These new technologies could allow the future missions to find landing sites that were impossible to find during the Apollo missions.