Watch Bezos-owned Blue Origin’s ‘astronaut rehearsal’ here [live stream]

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is preparing a test flight of its New Shephard rocket on 14 April 2021. The launch, referred to as NS-15, will see employees “standing in as astronauts” for the flight.

Blue Origin’s New Shephard test flight

Test flight NS-15

Blue Origin personnel will conduct operational exercises – which includes climbing into the capsule and testing communications while strapped in to the seats. The company explains:

“During the mission, astronaut operational exercises will be conducted in preparation for human space flight. The primary operations will entail Blue Origin personnel standing in as astronauts entering into the capsule prior to launch. “

In addition, tower operations personnel “will prepare the capsule cabin for launch and then briefly close the capsule hatch. The astronauts will then exit the capsule prior to launch”. 

Watch: Blue Origin’s New Shephard test flight

Update: Blue Origin confirmed on Twitter that the test is currently underday and the “astronauts have climbed the launch tower and are now getting into their seats, buckling harnesses, and simulating capsule hatch close.

“They are also conducting a series of communication tests with Capsule Communications (CAPCOM)”.

Blue Origin

Following that, the rocket will lift off. If all goes according to plan, this will be the 15th successful test flight. Once in the air, the capsule will separate from the rocket booster.

Blue Origin confirmed that the booster will make a vertical landing “not far from the launch pad”.

Blue Origin’s future: Project Artemis

Back in March 2019, Mike Pence put out a challenge to NASA to shorten the timeline for project Artemis. Artemis planned to perform its first lunar landing in 2028. However, Pence called for NASA to move the launch to 2024.

In addition, the call has put those companies tendering to provide the crafts needed to facilitate the mission under acute time pressure. As a result, Jeff Bezos has announced that they will be joining forces with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper.

The companies will pool their resources to attempt to produce a lunar landing system for NASA. The move is somewhat surprising with Lockheed Martin, in particular, being rivals with Blue Origin up to that point.

Now read: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to team up with three other legacy space companies

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Presh JM Reporter

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