Blue Origin Tests its Space Capsule with Mock Astronauts on Board25th Apr 2021
On 15th April, Blue Origin carried out a successful capsule test with a dummy on board and two employees rehearsing astronaut movements before the capsule launch. The end goal of the test was to fine-tune entering and exiting the capsule via flight simulation. The test astronauts also tried out communication systems and seat belts before exiting the capsule that went for a ten-minute flight and carried out a successful landing in the West Texas desert.
Are Blue Origin Manned Flights Around the Corner?
The latest Blue Origin mission was an important event for a company that hopes to send tourists to space. Its six-seat capsule has large windows to ensure the paying customers can enjoy the scenery and is spacious enough to make three planned minutes of weightlessness comfortable.
Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin flight commentator, says that the latest mission draws the company one step closer to its goal of sending tourists on space flights. She notes that the company is drawing near its ultimate purpose and adds the first manned flight is very close – even though, this time, there were no astronauts on board.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, named after the first American astronaut, has completed 15 successful tests in a row. This time, it sent a capsule with a dummy on board. The capsule reached 106-km altitude. The booster landed seven minutes after lift-off, and the capsule touched down three minutes later with the help of parachutes.
Out of four test astronauts present on the launch site, only two – a program director and a lawyer – actually entered the capsule to test communication systems, seatbelts, and practice movements. And even though no one can say when Blue Origin first manned flight will take place, this mission is definitely the last one for Mannequin Skywalker that is being donated to a space center in Alabama.