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June 19, 2016
Image above: The same New Shepard booster that flew to space and then landed vertically three times has now flown and landed again.
New Shepard flew again on June 19, 2016, reaching an apogee of 331,504 feet (101.042 kilometers). It was the fourth flight with this booster and the sixth flight of this capsule.
Flight Four – One Chute Out
This time, we intentionally did not deploy one of three parachutes on the capsule and proved we could softly land with only two of them open. We’ve designed the capsule to have one or two levels of redundancy in every system needed for crew safety, including the separation systems, parachutes, reaction control thrusters, landing retro-thrusters, flight computers, and power systems.
Image above: Rocket restarted at 3,635 feet above ground level and ramped fast for a successful landing.
We also changed the ascending trajectory of the booster to adopt a more aggressive tilt towards our landing pad to the north after liftoff. We did this maneuver to test the ascent trajectory we will use during Transonic Escape Test, planned for later this year. During Transonic Escape Test, we will intentionally fire the capsule’s solid-rocket escape motor in-flight at transonic speeds to divert and propel it away from a fully thrusting booster and demonstrate we can safely recover the capsule.
Blue Origin - Launch. Land. Repeat.
Pushing the Envelope
Blue Origin Makes Historic Rocket Landing
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Images, Video, Text, Credits: Blue Origin.