Blue Origin NS-6

Blue Origin NS-6Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its sixth New Shepard flight. To conduct a live test of survivability of the launch abort system, the capsule is commanded to blast free of its booster at Max-Q (the moment of maximum aerodynamic pressure on the combined vehicle). The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule survives the simulated emergency separation and lands safely, but surprisingly, the single-stage suborbital booster also recovers from the stress of the abort test and lands safely near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the fifth and final flight for the second New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the fifth and final flight for the second New Shepard reusable booster. Flight tests will resume in late 2017 with a new booster and capsule.