Crew Test Module Provides Launch Escape System

New Shepard rocket-propelled vehicle
Blue Origin
Kent, WA

Blue Origin has received funding from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative to develop a composite crew test module and a launch escape system for its commercial spaceflight vehicle. The New Shepard system is a rocket-propelled, vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing vehicle designed to routinely fly multiple astronauts into suborbital space. In addition to providing the public with opportunities to experience spaceflight, the New Shepard system will also provide frequent opportunities for researchers to fly experiments into space and a microgravity environment.

altThe New Shepard vehicle consists of a pressurized Crew Capsule (CC) carrying experiments and astronauts atop a Propulsion Module (PM). The New Shepard PM will take off vertically and accelerate for approximately two-and-a-half minutes before shutting off its rocket engines and coasting into space. The vehicle will carry rocket motors, enabling the Crew Capsule to escape from the PM in the event of a serious anomaly during launch. In space, the Crew Capsule will separate from the PM, and the two will re-enter and land separately for re-use. The Crew Capsule will land under a parachute at the launch site. Astronauts and experiments will experience no more than 6 g acceleration into their seats, and a 1.5-g lateral acceleration during a typical flight. High-quality microgravity environments will be achieved for durations of three or more minutes, depending on the mission trajectory.

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