Blue Origin is ready to launch one in all its New Shepard rockets as early as tomorrow, January 14 at 9:45 AM CST (10:45 AM EST) for its first mission of 2021. This is an enormous one for the Jeff Bezos-founded house firm, too – it consists of upgrades to the crew capsule atop the rocket which are designed to enhance the astronaut expertise, a key preparatory step as the corporate approaches its very first human spaceflight missions.
New Shepard has flown 13 instances beforehand, and carried a lot of completely different payloads to suborbital house earlier than returning to Earth. The reusable launch car goals to in the end present rides to house for individuals, too – and whereas there’s no said timeline for this truly occurring, tomorrow’s mission is a robust signal that it might be going down someday comparatively quickly.
Crew-focused upgrades flying on this New Shepard launch for the primary time embrace acoustic and temperature regulation gear, show panels that present info to anybody who could be on board, and push-to-talk communications programs put in in every of the crew capsule’s six seats. One of these seats can have a life-size check article on board, a humanoid flight dummy named Mannequin Skywalker that Blue Origin makes use of to measure numerous facets of the car’s efficiency.
It’ll check astronaut security alert programs that Blue Origin intends to incorporate on the ultimate flight system, and it’ll additionally carry a payload with a really completely different function – 50,000 postcards offered by faculty children around the globe to the Blue Origin non-profit Club for the Future.
The mission will likely be broadcast dwell by Blue Origin through its web site and YouTube channel (embedded under) and you’ll anticipate the stream to start round 30 minutes previous to launch time, so at round 10:15 AM EST (7:15 AM PST).