Blue Origin flies New Shepard rocket for eighth time

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All is set at Blue Origin's test flight center in Texas as Jeff Bezos's team is gearing up for New Shepard's eighth launch on April 29.

Blue Origin's launch of the New Shepard system will begin at 8:45 a.m. from the company's launch site in West Texas, while the live stream will begin on the company's website after 15 minutes. It was also the first Blue Origin New Shepard rocket to test out whether acrylic windows could withstand entry into space, CNET reported. In December, its seventh New Shepard mission launched, landed and effectively deployed the unmanned Crew Capsule 2.0 - which was the company's first launch in 14 months.

The rocket is fully reusable with vertical takeoff and vertical landing.

A handful of experimental payloads also joined the dummy for the flight, including new sensors sent by NASA, a demonstration of a system to provide Wi-Fi in space and an experiment packed with "water fleas" to record the impact of microgravity on the tiny invertebrates.

In a tweet, Bezos announced the upcoming test launch, which will be complemented with a live stream video and the details of which will soon follow. Both the rocket booster and space capsule will return to earth; Blue will further refine the capsule for human flight later this year.

In December 2017, Blue Origin successfully launched vertically and had reached almost 61 miles above sea level before the unmanned Crew Capsule 2.0 landed safely on a soft parachute. The capsule is created to hold six astronauts.

The Crew Capsule was aboard a dummy named Mannequin Skywalker.

Blue Origin's New Glenn Rocket. Engine running on hydrogen and oxygen.

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Blue Origin is taking a slower approach to spaceflight development than that pursued by SpaceX.

Although it has yet to make a formal announcement, the company seems to be getting closer to flying people on the suborbital tourism launch system-and perhaps beginning ticket sales.

Nominally, the company maintains that it will begin flights with "test passengers" by the end of 2018, with commercial service beginning next year. Bezos regularly says he'd jump at the chance to see millions of individuals living and working in space -a situation that is aimed at moving substantial industry off the planet and protecting Earth for "private and light modern" zoning.

While Bezos' Blue Origin and Musk's SpaceX have comparative objectives with regards to utilizing recyclable rockets, it wouldn't be very appropriate to call the two organizations competitors - at any rate not yet.

RSS H.G. Wells flew for first time last December, and was refurbished in line with Blue Origin's strategy for rocket reusability.

The rocket launched out of Van Horn just before noon.

"We get that question a lot", Smith said.

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