Sunday, August 1

Blue Origin: this is the ship that takes Jeff Bezos into space | Digital Trends Spanish

Billionaires go to space. Jeff Bezos, the founding magnate of Amazon and who also holds the title of the richest man in the world, travels to space this Tuesday, July 20, 2021, just nine days after another billionaire, Richard Branson, achieved the feat with the VSS Virgin Galactic Unity. Bezos will do it aboard the New Shepard, a space vehicle system that consists of a reusable rocket and a capsule with a capacity for six crew members.

But Bezos will not go to space as an astronaut in a bulky helmet and suit, but as a tourist. Sure, not just anybody. Although he will travel “free”, the seat of one of his companions was auctioned for $ 28 million. Given that the experience aboard the New Shepard will last just 11 minutes between takeoff and landing of the capsule, that $ 28 million is equivalent to $ 2.5 million per minute of travel, so there will be a long wait for 99.9 percent of the world’s population can feel included in that pompous legend that adorns the Blue Origin website: “Our reusable rocket is already taking cargo into space, and it will soon take you too” (our reusable launch vehicle is taking payloads, and soon you, to space).

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Although the New Shepard capsule has comfortable-looking seats, no one could say that the cabin is the best they could afford at $ 28 million. What is the ship that will take billionaire Jeff Bezos into space like? Does it look like the rockets of fellow billionaire Elon Musk? What is the capsule of the New Shepard like? We answer those questions below.

What is the ship that will take Jeff Bezos into space and what will the flight be like?

The New Shepard, the Blue Origin ship that will take Jeff Bezos into space on a suborbital flight scheduled for July 20, 2021, consists of a reusable rocket (that is, once it takes off it lands to eventually undertake a new flight. ) from which a capsule with capacity for six passengers emerges.

An image of the New Shepard capsule from Blue Origin

Compared to other rockets like the 63-meter tall Falcon 9, the New Shepard is small. It is 18 meters high (about 60 feet) and the capsule that emerges from the tip has an interior volume of about 15 cubic meters, so the crew will travel much more comfortable than in the Soyuz capsules used by the crew of the International Space Station (ISS, for its acronym in English). It is a small space, so much so that a standing person would have to hunker down a bit to avoid hitting their head.

An image of the New Shepard capsule from Blue Origin

The capsule also highlights the position of the seats, which are distributed in a circular way. Each has access to a wide window, which will offer a fascinating but fleeting view of outer space and Earth. At the center of the seats is an exhaust system that, we hope, does not have to be used on the July 20 mission.

An image of the New Shepard capsule from Blue Origin

The rocket’s size stands out. It is not bigger because unlike SpaceX’s Falcon 9, Blue Origin’s New Shepard will barely reach a height of 100 kilometers to the Kármán line, an imaginary limit where according to international consensus, space begins. To reach it, the New Shepard rocket will travel at 3,700 kilometers per hour, about three times the speed of sound, but still far from the 27,000 kilometers per hour that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 reaches.

An image of the New Shepard capsule from Blue Origin

Once the rocket reaches space height, the capsule will be released, causing its crew to experience about two minutes of weightlessness. Approximately six minutes into the flight, the capsule will begin its descent caused by Earth’s gravity. To decrease its speed, the capsule will open a system of three parachutes until the capsule stops at a safe 25 kilometers per hour.

An image of the New Shepard capsule from Blue Origin

The New Shepard rocket will land on a platform adjacent to the launch zone. To do so, it will use a computerized system similar to that of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. The idea is that, in the future, it propels other flights like Bezos’s.

An image of the New Shepard capsule from Blue Origin

Who is accompanying Bezos?

On his first trip, Jeff Bezos will be accompanied by his brother Mark Bezos and also the American pioneer Wally Funk, who in the 1960s was one of the first 13 American women to train for space flight, although he never achieved the feat because its space program was canceled.

Wally Funk, one of Jeff Bezos's companions on Blue Origin's first manned flight
Wally Funk, one of Jeff Bezos’ companions on Blue Origin’s first manned flight.

Bezos will also be accompanied by 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who will study physics at Utrecht University. Daemen was selected by Blue Origin after the $ 28 million bidder, who remains anonymous, said he will not be able to attend due to scheduling reasons.

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