Blue Origin set for historic first human flight of its New Shepard system | Ars Technical

ns14-launch-drone-800x524 Blue Origin set for historic first human flight of its New Shepard system | Ars Technical

Enlarge / Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches from a remote site in West Texas. (credit: Blue Origin)

Officials with the rocket company Blue Origin said they remain on track for their first human spaceflight on Tuesday, which will carry founder Jeff Bezos and three other passengers on a suborbital hop 100 km above West Texas.

Steve Lanias, the lead flight director for the mission, said during a call with reporters that engineers completed a “Flight Readiness Review” for the launch over the weekend and found the New Shepard rocket and capsule to be in perfect condition. Weather, too, looks reasonable with any early morning storms expected to pass before the anticipated liftoff time of 8 am CT (13:00 UTC).

Bezos and the other three passengers—his brother, Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and a paying customer from the Netherlands named Oliver Daemen—underwent about 14 hours of training this weekend across two days. Their flight will be entirely autonomous. After launch the capsule will separate from the rocket, and the passengers will have about three minutes of weightlessness before they must strap back into their seats for the return to Earth. Upon reentry to Earth’s atmosphere the passengers will experience about 5 Gs as gravity exerts itself on the returning vehicle.

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