Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sets launch record while testing NASA’s lunar equipment

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Blue Origin established a new brand for rocket recycling on Tuesday morning by sending the same New Shepherd spaceship at the edge of space for the seventh time.

The spaceflight company founded and funded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos completed its 13th New Shepard mission from its private launch facility in West Texas, while also testing some key equipment for future NASA missions to the moon.

The mission was originally scheduled for late September from the Texas site, but has been delayed several times due to weather and technical issues. It finally left Earth at 6:37 a.m. PT (8:37 a.m. PT) on Tuesday and returned to land at the same facility in two pieces about 10 minutes later.

A New Shepard is launched for the seventh time.

Blue Origin video capture by Eric Mack / CNET

Within minutes of takeoff, the crew capsule carrying most of the experiments separated from the rocket thruster. The thruster returned to Earth for a precision landing, while the capsule drifted to the surface using parachutes a few minutes later.

In the future, Blue Origin plans to sell space trips to intrepid tourists who take a ride in the crew capsule.

During its short period in microgravity, the NS-13 mission and its dozen payloads aim to collect tons of data for a number of tests and experiments, including a demonstration of a moon landing sensor that will test technologies for future lunar missions as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

The sensor is the first payload to be mounted outside of New Shepard rather than inside its capsule.

Some of the other payloads aboard this New Shepard flight include a test of a new system for autonomously growing aquatic plants that could supplement a crew’s diet and a new cooling system developed. by NASA for spacecraft electronics.

SpaceX, another commercial space company run by a famous billionaire in the form of Elon Musk, has so far used a single Falcon 9 booster up to six times. It should be noted, however, that the Falcon 9 is a different class of rocket that is used for technically more complicated orbital missions.

You can watch a recording of the launch live stream below.

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