Blue Origin New Shepard Project
The Blue Origin project is developing a manned rocket called
the New Shepard for purposes of space tourism. Blue Origin
is owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, who is also the founder
The New Shepard is being developed as a commercially viable,
suborbital and reusable launch aircraft and is being assembled
in Seattle, Washington. Testing of the Blue Origin New Shepard
rocket, however, is taking place near Van Horn, Texas.
Blue Origin New Shepard
The New Shepard has been designed for both vertical
take-offs and landings. Nine engines arranged in a 3 X 3 grid
propel the rocket and four landing legs with shock absorbers
help ease the aircraft back down to earth.
Powered by 90-percent hydrogen peroxide and 10-percent kerosene,
the Blue Origin New Shepard is one of the new breed of environmentally
friendly rockets exuding minimal harmful emissions. The name,
New Shepard is in reference to the first American astronaut
in space, Alan Shepard.
The New Shepard rocket can land by either using its main
rockets a few seconds before landing or by parachute. The
first prototype rocket to launch was named Goddard, which
was sent up in a test flight on November 13, 2006 and flew
to a maximum altitude of 285 feet with a straight up and down
The goal of Blue Origin is to blast three passengers and
one crewmember into suborbital space by 2010 and to do it
cost effectively. The New Shepard spacecrafts are designed
after NASA's DC-X, which the government agency hoped would
one day take astronauts into space. But because a hard landing
cracked the structure of the DC-X, the project was scrapped
in the mid 1990's.
Origin website has some interesting video worth checking
out of the Goddard test flight in November 2006. The video
includes several different angles of the take off and landing.