Jeff Bezos, his crewmates and the rest of their crew won’t be joining him for suborbital redos on the New Shepard missions. The Amazon founder’s space venture announced Wednesday that the 17th flight of the reusable rocket ship will carry scientific and research payloads.
Blue Origin had scheduled the launch at 6:35 AM PT, Aug. 25, from its West Texas facility. This is the fourth flight of the 2021 program and eighth for this vehicle.
NASA’s lunar landing technology will be carried on the NS-17 mission. This is being evaluated to reduce risk and improve confidence in successful moon missions. Mounted to the rocket booster’s exterior is the payload that flew in an earlier experiment on October 13, 2020. Blue Origin claims that the information gained from the initial flight helped to improve technology to determine a spacecraft’s speed and location as it nears the lunar surface.
Blue Origin’s continued interest and work on future moon missions comes in the wake of the company’s recent legal action against the U.S. government. Blue Origin sued NASA for its award of a contract worth $2.9 billion to Elon Musk’s SpaceX in order to construct the first lunar lander that will carry astronauts to the Moon since Apollo.
This is the 8th flight of RSS HG Wells’ spacecraft. The last launch was in October 2020.
Blue Origin plans to make uncrewed flight with this aircraft. The newer RSS First Step was launched by Jeff Bezos and will be used for human future flights. https://t.co/qm1wa7e1cP
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) August 18, 2021
NS-17 will carry 18 payloads from commercial companies inside its crew capsule. NASA has supported 11 of them.
A unique payload will be added to the rocket’s exterior. It will include an artwork installation called Suborbital Tryptych. This is a collection of three portraits of Amoako Boafo, a Ghanaian artist. They are painted on top of the main chute covers. “The portraits capture the artist, his mother, and a friend’s mother … and is part of Uplift Aerospace’s Uplift Art Program, whose purpose is to inspire new ideas and generate dialog by making space accessible and connected to the human experience,” Blue Origin said.
Bezos and three crewmates took a 10-minute ride as the first humans aboard a New Shepard ship on July 20.
Publiated at Wed 18 August 2021, 18:48.46 +0000