Fifth crewed suborbital flight completed by New Shepard

New Shepard is a reusable suborbital rocket system that takes astronauts and research payloads beyond the Kármán line, the internationally recognized frontier of space. It is nicknamed after Alan Shepard, who is a Mercury astronaut and the maiden American to travel to space. New Shepard completed the fifth crewed suborbital flight.

New Shepard suborbital aircraft made its fifth manned suborbital trip on June 4, bringing six individuals to space, comprising the first Mexican-born lady in space and the company’s first return client. At 9:25 a.m. Eastern time, New Shepard launched from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One site based in West Texas. After reaching a max height of around 107 kilometers, the crew capsule with 6 people on board landed ten minutes after liftoff. Nearly three minutes ago, the vehicle’s booster landed propulsive.

Evan Dick, who traveled on the NS-19 expedition in December 2021, was among the six individuals on board. Katya Echazarreta, an ex-Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer but the maiden Mexican-born female to travel into space, is another example. Space for Humanity, a group that provides space flights to those who cannot pay them on their own, picked her for the flight.

Others on the flight comprising pilot Hamish Harding, Victor Correa Hespanha, a Brazilian engineer, who is just the 2nd Brazilian to travel to space; entrepreneur and explorer Jaison Robinson; as well as adventurer Victor Vescovo, who has scaled some of the globe’s highest peaks and dived to the ocean’s deepest point, Challenger Deep.

Dick said his second journey on New Shepard was “maybe a little bit less thrilling than the first experience, but due to that, I was able to concentrate a little bit further on the beauty” of seeing Earth from above during a post-flight briefing of the media. “My whole life has been a dream of mine to go to space,” Echazarreta stated. “Until you experience it, no one can properly imagine it.”

The launch date for the NS-21 mission had been set for May 20. The firm, however, postponed the launch two days before because the vehicle’s backup system “was not fulfilling our expectations for performance,” according to the company. Blue Origin offered no additional information on the issue or how it was remedied.

The flight was New Shepard’s sixth and 2022’s second. Blue Origin’s CEO, Bob Smith, predicted in February that his business would “easily quadruple” the 14 passengers it sent to space on 3 New Shepard flights in 2021 this year. He wouldn’t disclose how many New Shepard missions the corporation planned to fly this year, encompassing both crewed as well as payload-only flights.

Hespanha, one of the members of the team, was able to fly thanks to the Crypto Space Agency (CSA). It sold non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are digital collectibles, and randomly assigned a ticket on the trip to one of the customers.

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