New Shephard rocket system for space tourism

#GS3 space technology

News info:

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s space company called Blue Origin concluded the web auction for the primary seat on New Shephard, a rocket system meant to require tourists to space.

What is New Shephard?

  • New Shephard has been named after astronaut Alan Shephard – the primary American to travel to space – and offers flights to space over 100 km above the world and accommodation for payloads.
  • Essentially, it's a rocket system that has been designed to require astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.
  • The idea is to supply easier and less expensive access to space meant for purposes like academic research, corporate technology development, and entrepreneurial ventures among others.
  • Apart from its academic and research-oriented goal, New Shephard also will allow space tourists to experience microgravity by taking them 100 km above the world.

Its components

  • The rocket system consists of two parts, the cabin or capsule, and therefore the rocket or the booster.
  • The cabin can accommodate experiments from small Mini Payloads up to 100 kg.
  • As per Blue Origin, the Mini Payloads provide easier space access to students, who are a part of educational institutions that are developing their own space programs.
  • Further, the cabin is meant for 6 people and sits atop a 60 feet tall rocket and separates from it before crossing the Karman line, after which both vehicles fall back to the world.
  • All the six seats within the capsule are meant for passengers, each of whom gets their own bench. The capsule is fully autonomous and doesn't require a pilot.

It's working:-

  • The system may be a fully reusable, vertical takeoff and vertical landing spacecraft that accelerates for about 2.5 minutes before the engine cuts off.
  • After separating from the booster, the capsule free falls in space, while the booster performs an autonomously controlled vertical landing back to Earth.
  • The capsule, on the opposite hand, lands back with the assistance of parachutes.
  • A boost for space tourism
  • Space tourism seeks to offer laypeople the power to travel to space for recreational, leisure, or business purposes.
  • The idea is to form space more accessible to those individuals who aren't astronauts and need to travel to space for non-scientific purposes.

Source: The Hindu

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