Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister.
Ffrom the album Planetarium.
a Whole New Outer Space Out There
Blue Origin and SpaceX Fly
On October 5, 2016, Jeff Bezo's Blue
Origin company flew the reusable New
Shepard suborbital space vehicle for
the fifth time. This flight was a test of
the in-flight abort system, which propels
the crew capsule away from the booster when
a problem with the booster is detected.
The crew capsule, which is designed to hold
up to six people, sits atop the booster
and normally isreleased at apogee and comes
back down separatel for a landing via parachutes.
The booster lands vertically on the flame
of its rocket engine
Below is a video of the unmanned test.
The blast from the crew capsule abort engines
was expected to drive the booster off track
and cause it to crash. However, the booster
continued its flight to 100km as if nothing
The crew capsule landed safely while the
booster came down for a powered landing
as in a normal flight.
Here is a slow motion view of the separation
of the crew capsule from the boosters:
The company plans in a year or two to fly
people to space on an updated New Shepard.
The above New Shepard vehicle will be retired
to a museum.
In the meantime, science experiments and
technology R&D payloads will ride the
vehicle during its test flights. See the
here for two videos about experiments
that flew on the latest flight.
continues to make progress with its space
transports as well. As of Feb. 6, 2017,
there have been five landings of Falcon
9 first stage boosters onto sea platforms
and two back onto the ground pad at Cape
Canaveral. Here is a video from Jan. 14,
2017 when for the first time a F9 stage
landed on a sea platform in the Pacific
Ocean. The launch from Vandenberg Air Force
Base on the coast of California put 10 Iridium
satellites into orbit.
Follow the latest developments in this
NewSpace era with a subscription to NewSpace
Run the Satellite
Tracking Tool from BINARY
SPACE right here at HobbySpace
in your browser. (Windows 10 users must instead get the
app here.) The program allows you to track a large
set of satellites in both low earth and geostationary
orbits. (Note: the program requires Microsoft
Silverlight, Version 5 or higher, as well as the latest
version of your browser. Currently the program works on
the Microsoft® Windows® platform only.) The Satellite
Observing section provides additional information
and web resources about the hobby of satellite tracking