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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 will consist of the Propulsion Module first stage with a single BE-3 engine and a combined second stage and manned capsule similar to the Goddard prototype. Both stages will be recoverable and will conduct powered vertical landings at the end of the mission.

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    9   New Shepard       NS-10 #3-F4   23.01.2019   *    CR      New Shepard Crew Capsule #2-M4


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