Blue Origin NS-1

Blue Origin NS-1Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its first New Shepard flight, a booster and capsule which the company hopes will eventually carry paying passengers on short suborbital flights into space. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule comes in for a soft landing near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility, though the booster – also intended to land and be refurbished for future reuse – does not land intact. This is the first in a series of uncrewed tests of the New Shepard launch system and suborbital vehicle; further tests will be flown over the next few years.

Blue Origin NS-2

Blue Origin NS-2Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its second New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility, after refinements are made to the system of aerodynamic fins designed to keep the booster upright as it returns to the ground for a survivable landing. This is the first intact return of a space-flown booster to Earth. This is the first flight for the second New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the first flight for the second New Shepard reusable booster; both will be reused again.

Blue Origin NS-3

Blue Origin NS-3Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its third New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility, marking the first reflight of an already-flown booster. This is the second flight for the second New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the second flight for the second New Shepard reusable booster; both will be flown again.

Blue Origin NS-4

Blue Origin NS-4Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its fourth New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the third flight for the second New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the third flight for the second New Shepard reusable booster; both will be flown again later in 2016.

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.

Blue Origin NS-8

Blue Origin NS-8Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its eighth New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule includes several commercial and research payloads, as well as a telemetry test dummy nicknamed “Mannequin Skywalker”, designed to record potential spaceflight stresses on future human passengers. An apogee of 351,000 feet is reached for the first time. As with past missions, both the capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the second flight for the third New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the second flight for the third New Shepard reusable booster.

Blue Origin NS-9

Blue Origin NS-9Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its ninth New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule includes several commercial and research payloads, but serves primarily as a test of the ascent escape engine system designed to pull a crewed New Shepard capsule clear of a booster in the event of an anomaly during launch. As with past missions, both the capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the third flight for the third New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the third flight for the third New Shepard reusable booster.

Blue Origin NS-10

Blue Origin NS-10Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its tenth New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule includes several payloads designed by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. As with past missions, both the capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the fourth flight for the third New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the fourth flight for the third New Shepard reusable booster.

Blue Origin NS-11

Blue Origin NS-11Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its eleventh New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule includes 38 experimental payloads, some of them designed by NASA, New Century Technology High School, and MIT’s Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative. As with past missions, both the capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the fifth flight for the third New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the fifth flight for the third New Shepard reusable booster.

Blue Origin NS-12

Blue Origin NS-12Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its twelfth New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule includes 38 experimental payloads, some of them designed by NASA, Columbia University, and two winners of an “art in space” contest sponsored by rock group OK Go. As with past missions, both the capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the sixth flight for the third New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the sixth flight for the third New Shepard reusable booster.