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Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Mannequin Skywalker Flies Again!

Blue Origin Successfully Demonstrates Crew Capsule Upgrades

It was a beautiful thing to see... Blue Origin successfully completed its 14th mission to space and back, Thursday, for the New Shepard program.

On a gorgeous Thursday morning, the Blue Origin team conducted another test of the New Shepard/Blue Origin system as they edge closer to the advent of manned flight operations... which may come this year.

Mission NS-14 featured a crew capsule outfitted with astronaut experience upgrades for upcoming flights with passengers onboard.

Capsule upgrades included:

  • Speakers in the cabin with a microphone and a push-to-talk button at each seat so astronauts can continuously talk to Mission Control.
  • First flight of the crew alert system with a panel at each seat relaying important safety messages to passengers.
  • Cushioned wall linings and sound suppression devices to reduce ambient noise inside the capsule. 
  • Environmental systems, including a cooling system and humidity controls to regulate temperature and prevent capsule windows from fogging during flight, as well as carbon dioxide scrubbing.
  • Six seats.


This flight continued to prove the robustness and stability of the New Shepard system and the BE-3PM liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.

Also onboard were more than 50,000 postcards from Blue Origin’s nonprofit Club for the Future. The Club has now flown over 100,000 postcards to space and back from students around the world.

Key Mission Stats

  • 15th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in program, including pad escape test in 2012).
  • The crew capsule reached an apogee of 347,568 ft above ground level (AGL) / 351,215 ft mean sea level (MSL).
  • The booster reached an apogee of 347,211 ft AGL / 350,858 ft MSL.
  • The mission elapsed time was 10 min 10 sec and the max ascent velocity was 2,242 mph.

All mission crew supporting this launch exercised strict social distancing and safety measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks to personnel, customers, and surrounding communities.

FMI: www.BlueOrigin.com

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