Blue Origin’s Audrey Powers simulates astronaut ingress on New Shepard Mission NS-15 on April 14. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s Audrey Powers simulates astronaut ingress on New Shepard Mission NS-15 on April 14. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Kent-based Blue Origin conducts astronaut rehearsal for future customer flights

Company completes another successful mission April 14

Kent-based Blue Origin successfully completed its 15th consecutive mission to space and back on Wednesday, April 14 and conducted a series of simulations to rehearse astronaut movements and operations for future flights with customers on board.

This mission marked a verification step prior to flying astronauts, according to a Blue Origin email.

For the first time, Blue Origin personnel standing in as astronauts entered the capsule prior to launch of the New Shepard NS-15 flight from the company’s West Texas site. These astronauts conducted a series of tests from within the capsule including a comms check with the Capsule Communicator, procedures for entering and exiting the capsule and pre-launch preparations within the capsule. Following the crew capsule landing, the astronauts rehearsed post-flight procedures, hatch opening and exiting the capsule.

Also onboard was Mannequin Skywalker and more than 25,000 postcards from Club for the Future, the nonprofit founded by Blue Origin.

Owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin’s goals are to get astronauts back on the Moon and people living and working in space. The company opened in Kent in 2000.

Key mission stats

• 16th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in the program, including a pad escape test in 2012).

• The crew capsule reached an apogee of 347,574 ft. above ground level (AGL) / 351,221 ft. mean sea level (MSL) (105 km AGL/107 km MSL).

• The booster reached an apogee of 347,193 ft AGL / 350,840 ft MSL (105 km AGL / 106 km MSL).

• The mission elapsed time was 10 minutes, 10 seconds; the max ascent velocity was 2,234 mph / 3,596 km/h.

Catch the full mission webcast replay on Blue Origin’s YouTube page.


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