Next Blue Origin test flight before end of year


Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

The competition heats up: Blue Origin not only intends to launch another test flight of its suborbital New Shepard rocket/capsule before the end of 2015, they hope to begin commercial unmanned flights by the second quarter of 2016.

Manned flights will follow, though they don’t say when. Based on this schedule, however, it appears that Blue Origin, which had hardly been on anyone’s radar for most of the last decade, is going to beat Virgin Galactic and XCOR in flying their first commercial flight.

Readers!
 

Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
 

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
 

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
 

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

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One comment

  • Edward

    It seems as though Blue Origin is also providing services for experiments, just as XCOR and Virgin Galactic have announced they would provide. It seems that since Blue Origin does not have pressure to launch people into suborbital space, they are willing to use the first few flights to further validate their rocket and craft, yet draw some revenue by launching experiments.

    I think part of the competition is against today’s standard (heritage?) sounding rockets that currently take up these types of experiments.

    Almost related:

    In a previous post about NASA’s commercial space program, DougSpace noted that around $14 billion was being spent on commercial space (over a couple of decades), and asked the question: “Does anyone else view $14 B as an obscene amount of money? Wasn’t the whole idea of developing commercial cargo with competition in order to develop low-cost transportation to LEO?”

    DougSpace, I have an answer for your question and comment. Because of the recent problem with comments, my reply was not timely, and you may have missed it. (Isn’t it Murphy’s Law that requires that when Robert goes on vacation the website chooses that moment to hiccough?)

    https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/competition-for-iss-cargo-contract-reduced-to-three/#comment-822329

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