Company Blue Origin is preparing to send the first space tourists with its suborbital New Shepard camera. In an interview to journalists portal SpaceNews head of private aerospace company, Jeff Bezos said that the first commercial launch to take place this year. In the same interview, Bezos noted that Blue Origin has the advantage over the main competitor – Virgin Galactic: the device is able to rise to a height that exceeds the height of the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane, so Blue Origin hopes to beat Virgin in the provision of space tourism services.
“This is the first time I said “this year”. Over the past five years, I would say, “next year,” said Bezos in the interview.
Tests of the carrier rocket with the spacecraft New Shepard are carried out for several years. All these launches were unmanned. The latest took place on 23 January. According to Bezos, “everything is going very well.” The head of Blue Origin said that the company had conducted a successful test of the rescue system of the apparatus.
“We checked every part of the ship for the presence of faults. Perhaps, it was the most difficult challenge for us,” said Bezos.
Blue Origin is not the only company that wants to launch space tourism flights this year. The main competitor-Virgin Galactic also is struggling to start commercial flights with the help of his sub-orbital spaceplane SpaceShipTwo. The last successful test of the device took place just a couple of days ago. The Virgin Galactic broke his own altitude record, reaching 89.9 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. This remarkable flight was because the on Board was “tourist test”. The first passenger SpaceShipTwo was the main astronaut-instructor of the company Beth Moses. It is noted that it is expected to train future space tourists.
“One of the issues that Virgin Galactic will have to address, due to the fact that they have not yet reached the line of the Pocket. I think that they will have to figure out how to rise above the line of the Pocket,” commented Bezos.
Explain that the line of Pocket take for conventional boundary between outer space and earth space. It is located at an altitude of 100 kilometers above the planet’s surface.
“We have always aimed to rise above the line of the Pocket, because I didn’t want to near your name there is an explanation about whether you’re astronauts or not. This is the question which, in my opinion, they will have to solve in the near future,” continued Bezos.
Next to the name of those who fly the spacecraft New Shepard, “there are no asterisks will not”, said the head of Blue Origin.
Bezos during the interview, also noted that despite the “great pace” in the program of training of the launch vehicle and spacecraft New Shepard to commercial launches, the company does not move any of the graphics.
“I constantly remind my team, and I firmly believe that this is not a race. I want the first launch of a spacecraft with humans on Board took place this year, but we’ll fly only when we are really ready,” said Bezos.
In an interview also touched on the topic of developing larger rocket New Glenn that is designed for output of spacecraft in low earth orbit, and engine BE-4, based on which it will work. Here, Bezos explained how the rocket New Shepard fits into the overall strategy of the company and what role she plays.
“New Shepard we use for practice. In fact, many components of the launch vehicle New Shepard are used in the second stage New Glenn,” said Bezos, adding that we are talking about one of the versions of the engine BE-3, which is currently used in New Shepard. It is to be used as the main engine of the second stage New Glenn.
“All these systems will be thoroughly tested during a suborbital launches, and then will move into the top tier of the new missile. Used in the course of the program, New Shepard the processes of planting and reusable technology will also find application in the operation of the booster New Glenn”.
Recall that the first test launch of the New Glenn rocket company Blue Origin plans to conduct in 2021. The goal of Blue Origin is not the end of the Earth’s orbit. The company wants in 2023 to send a spacecraft to the moon. Development of the lander is already underway.
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