New Shepard just prior to landing.
Capitalism in space: Blue Origin this morning successfully flew its first commercial suborbital flight using its New Shepard spacecraft, taking Jeff Bezos and four other passengers, one paying, to an altitude of 66.5 miles.
The flight lasted just over ten minutes.
I have embedded the video of the flight, cued to just before launch, below the fold. Try to ignore the blather of Blue Origin’s announcer, which fortunately mostly stops once the spacecraft passes 62 miles and enters space. At that point microphones from inside the capsule take over, and you get to hear the reaction of the passengers themselves.
A grand success for Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos. And another grand success for freedom and private enterprise.
Next up, the beginning of regular commercial orbital manned tourist flights, starting in September. Here is the present flight manifest:
- September 2021: SpaceX’s Dragon capsule flies four private citizens on a three day orbital flight
- October 2021: The Russians will fly two passengers to ISS to shoot a movie
- December 2021: The Russians will fly billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant to ISS for 12 days
- cDecember 2021: Space Adventures, using a Dragon capsule, will fly four in orbit for five days
- January 2022: Axiom, using a Dragon capsule, will fly four tourists to ISS
- 2022-2024: Three more Axiom tourist flights on Dragon to ISS
- 2024: Axiom begins launching its own modules to ISS, starting construction of its own private space station
- c2024: SpaceX’s Starship takes Yusaku Maezawa and several others on a journey around the Moon.
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