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New Shepard

PM-2 [Blue Origin]

New Shepard [Blue Origin]

In 2011, Blue Origin conducted flight tests of the PM-2 prototype of the first stage of the suborbital New Shepard vehicle. In place of the space capsule, the PM-2 carried only a haf-spherical aerodnyamic cap.

The first flight was a short hop with successful soft landing on a concrete pad. For this flight only, three of the five BE-2 engines were used. The second flight, powered by all five engines, went out of control at a height of 13.7 km at a speed of Mach 1.2. The vehicle was destroyed.

The New Shepard vehicle for suborbital space tourism flights consists of the Propulsion Module first stage with a single BE-3 engine and a manned capsule. The stage is recoverable and conducts powered vertical landing at the end of the mission, while the capsule lands by three parachutes, assisted by retro-rockets at the moment of landing.

On the first flight of New Shepard to a height of about 90 km, the capsule was successfully deployed and recovered via a parachute system, while the Propulsion module was not recovered due to a hydraulics problem.

On the second flight, the booster was successfully recovered. Both capsule and booster were re-flown in January 2016 and again successfully recovered. Three more flights and recoveries were conducted. In October 2016, the booster and capsule were used for an in-flight abort test at max-Q. Again, the capsule and the booster were recovered. Both were retired after this test.

Version Stage 1
PM-2 PM-2 / 5 × BE-2
New Shepard Propulsion Module / BE-3
No:       Type:             Flight        Date              LS      Payload

 1    1   PM-2              F1            21.05.2011   *    CR      R&D
 2    2   PM-2              F2            24.08.2011   *F   CR      R&D
 3    1   New Shepard       NS-1  #1-F1   29.04.2015   *r   CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #1-M1
 4    2   New Shepard       NS-2  #2-F1   23.11.2015   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #1-M2
 5    3   New Shepard       NS-3  #2-F2   22.01.2016   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #1-M3
 6    4   New Shepard       NS-4  #2-F3   02.04.2016   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #1-M4
 7    5   New Shepard       NS-5  #2-F4   19.06.2016   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #1-M5
 8    6   New Shepard       NS-6  #2-F5   05.10.2016   *A   CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #1-M6 (abort test)
 9    7   New Shepard       NS-7  #3-F1   12.12.2017   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #2-M1
10    8   New Shepard       NS-8  #3-F2   29.04.2018   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #2-M2
11    9   New Shepard       NS-9  #3-F3   18.07.2018   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #2-M3 (high altitude abort test)
12   10   New Shepard       NS-10 #3-F4   23.01.2019   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #2-M4
13   11   New Shepard       NS-11 #3-F5   02.05.2019   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #2-M5 


Launch sites:

CR  = Blue Origin West Texas Launch Site, Corn Ranch, Van Horn, Culberson County, Texas, USA USA

*   Suborbital
F   Failure
r   Recovery Failure
A   Abort