Blue Origin flies NASA payloads amid lunar legal drama
Blue Origin’s new Shepard NS-17 mission is scheduled to launch Thursday morning with NASA payloads.
The unmanned mission was previously targeted for Wednesday morning but was postponed for an unspecified reason.
JEFF BEZOS ‘BLUE ORIGIN FIGHTS FOR EMPLOYEE SKILLS BETWEEN MANAGERS AND ENGINEERS
The New Shepard is now scheduled to take off from launch site One in West Texas at 8:35 a.m. CDT.
The reusable missile and capsule combo will carry 18 research payloads, 11 of which will be government sponsored.
The NS-17 flight will also test a number of lunar landing technologies – NASA’s Deorbit, Descent, and Landing sensor demonstration mounted on the outside of the New Shepard booster – to reduce risk and gain confidence for Successful missions to raise to the moon.
The senior suit first flew aboard New Shepard in October 2020 and has been upgraded since then.
“The technologies could enable future missions – both crewed and robotic – to target landing sites that were not possible during the Apollo missions, such as regions with different terrain near craters,” Blue Origin said in one Press release about the mission.
In addition, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center hopes to improve the sustainability of future long-term manned space exploration, NS-17 will again fly the payload of the Orbital Syngas / Commodity Augmentation Reactor (OSCAR).
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
“OSCAR aims to recycle and reuse common aerospace waste products by utilizing heat and an oxygen supply stage to turn the garbage into useful resources like water and fuel,” noted the company.
It is noteworthy that Blue Origin is also showing its first art installation: Amoako Boafo’s suborbital tryptych.
The Ghanaian artist painted the three portraits – one of his mother, a friend’s mother, and a self-portrait – onto the crew capsule on the main slide covers as part of Uplift Aerospace’s uplift art program.
The flight, the 17th New Shepard mission and the fourth flight in the program this year, will also bring with it several experiments funded by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, including the university’s Texas-based Biological Imaging in Support of Suborbital Science of Florida Liquid Acquisition Device (LAD-3) from the Southwest Research Institute and the Modal Propellant Gauging Experiment from NASA and the Carthage College Space Sciences program.
The story goes on
As with previous missions, NS-17 will also fly thousands of Blue Origins Club for the Future Foundation postcards.
This is the first mission since a New Shepard vehicle carried company founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen and space pioneer Wally Funk into suborbital space in July.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS
It’s also the first since Blue Origin sued NASA for its decision to award rival SpaceX a $ 3 billion lunar lander contract, which prompted NASA to temporarily shut down its work with billionaire Elon Musk’s company Report.