Blue (Origin) Completes First Crew Abort Demonstration

Credit Blue Origin

In yet another positive sign than NewSpace companies working with NASA are pushing the state of the art, Blue Origin released photos and video of a first successful pad escape test featuring its pusher abort system. The test, which took place on Friday at the company’s proving ground in west Texas,  featured a full scale model of its New Shepard suborbital crew capsule, which was blasted from the launch pad to an altitude of 2,307 feet under guided flight, and then parachuted to soft landing 1,603 feet from the launch pad.

The success comes on the heels of recently completed test firing of its 100,000 lb thrust cryogenic engine, and suggests that the generally secretive company is making steady progress in its stair-step approach to developing a completely reusable orbital launch system.  This test, like the engine test was a part of its Commercial Crew Development Program CCDeV2 phase two activities. Although Blue Origin did not submit a bid for next round,  it is still pursuing the path to full reusability by focusing its efforts on the fully reusable three person suborbital, New Shepard system, as a precursor to an orbital system.

According to the NASA press release:

“The progress Blue Origin has made on its suborbital and orbital  capabilities really is encouraging for the overall future of human  spaceflight,” CCP Manager Ed Mango said. “It was awesome to see a  spacecraft NASA played a role in developing take flight.”

Ironically, the test was conducted only a day after the Air Force announced that it was cancelling its own reusable booster program which was not expected to produce an operable orbital system until at least 2025.  Given that Blue Origin is actively soliciting flight participants, perhaps the Air Force should consider booking a few flights with Jeff Bezos instead.

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2 Comments on "Blue (Origin) Completes First Crew Abort Demonstration"

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  1. Nanny Mouse says:

    Blue Horizon, eh?

  2. Oops! Isn’t that a drink?

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