How to watch Blue Origin launch New Shepard rocket live

Thai company mu Space, which ordered a launch of Blue Origin's New Glenn orbital rocket in 2017, included a package with several experiments from universities and organizations in Thailand. Once it reached the threshold of space, the capsule fired its motors, shooting it away from the booster in a maneuver the company said would "push the rocket to its limits".

The high-altitude escape motor test is created to simulate what would happen if there was a problem with the launch vehicle during ascent.

As planned, the high-altitude firing pushed the capsule past the boundary of outer space, to an unofficial maximum altitude of 389,846 feet, or 119 kilometers.

The solid-fuel "pusher" abort motor, built by Aerojet Rocketdyne with subsystems provided by Blue Origin, is created to quickly ignite on command from flight controllers or an on-board computer if safety software detects an impending booster malfunction, rapidly propelling the capsule and its crew away from the rocket with a jarring burst of acceleration.

Editor's note: Blue Origin successfully completed the ninth test flight of its New Shepard rocket Tuesday from its test facility in west Texas.

Despite the fact that this is a test, there are payloads aboard New Shepard. The company says more than 700 people have signed up to fly.

Claims in the media - which haven't been verified by Blue Origin - note Jeff Bezos's company is going to charge between $200,000 and $300,000 per ticket for the short suborbital flight.

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The launch was webcast live on Blue Origin's website.

"We are excited to join the upcoming New Shepard flight".

Although there weren't any people aboard this test flight, Blue Origin's test dummy, Mannequin Skywalker, was strapped in a chair to measure the gravitation forces a real body might experience during a somewhat violent abort. The company has not said what the price of the tickets would be.

After that, the capsule's experiments enjoyed about five minutes of weightlessness as the spacecraft arced over at the top of its trajectory before plunging back into the discernible atmosphere.

It's part of a safety system meant to save lives once space tourists and others climb aboard for suborbital hops. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development.

The company's Florida team was watching today's webcast, as was the team at Blue Origin's headquarters in Kent, Wash., where New Shepard hardware is manufactured.

"Just another day at the office", said Cornell.

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