Dress rehearsals for the crewed New Shepard flights will be held by Blue Origin

A demonstration flight of Blue Origin‘s New Shepard suborbital vehicle is planned for April 14 and will serve as a dress rehearsal for the long-awaited crewed flights. Blue Origin announced on April 12 that it would conduct “astronaut tactical drills” before as well as after the vehicle’s flight at its West Texas test site. On April 14, a window will open at 9 a.m. Eastern for the launch. As per the Federal Aviation Administration’s provisional flight limits, launch options are available until April 17.

Blue Origin staff can enter the spacecraft, buckle into chairs, and test communications during the prelaunch arrangements, much as astronauts will. Ground crews will cover the hatch temporarily to simulate closeouts prior to deployment before reopening it and enabling the crew to leave the capsule. Staff will board the capsule during New Shepard’s uncrewed suborbital flight to mimic raising the door and leaving the capsule after the flight

According to the organization, this mission, codenamed NS-15, would serve as a “verification stage for the spacecraft and operations leading up to flying astronauts,” according to the organization. Aside from pre- as well as post-flight rehearsals, the truck would transport the firm’s “Mannequin Skywalker” anthropomorphic prototype unit, as well as over 25,000 student postcards. The spacecraft made its first suborbital test trip to 107 kilometers on January 14. The corporation stated at the period that this vehicle would later be used to transport the firm’s first astronauts. Following the effective test flight, firm officials stated that they were “getting pretty near to flying humans” but did not include any more details on a human flight timeline.

By now, Blue Origin planned to be able to fly passengers. Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin’s founder, said in a February 2019 interview that crewed flights would begin by the completion of the year. However, by October 2019, the firm announced that they would not be able to reach the deadline because they wanted some time to guarantee that the car was stable enough for users. In October of 2020, Blue Origin performed just one New Shepard flight test. Following the trip, the organization estimated that they would need “only a few more hops” before they could start flying passengers.

Blue Origin, LLC, centered in Kent, Washington, is a privately funded aerospace producer as well as the sub-orbital spaceflight services provider. The group, which was established in the year 2000 by Jeff Bezos and is now headed by Chief Executive Officer Bob Smith, intends to make connectivity to space more affordable and efficient by using reusable launch vehicles.

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