SVE NEWS & CNN Sharing Series — Jeff Bezos goes to space

1 min ago

Jeff Bezos: “Best day ever”

Blue Origin
Blue Origin

After landing safely back to Earth, Jeff Bezos could be heard saying inside the capsule that it was the “best day ever” in his astronaut status check response.

He said to 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk that the trip was “incredible,” and she responded “it was!”

Jeff Bezos’ brother, Mark Bezos, said “I’m unbelievably good” after landing.

3 min ago

The crew is back on Earth and out of the capsule

After completing procedural status checks, the crew aboard the New Shepard stepped out of the just-landed capsule.

On board today’s flight were Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.

Bezos came out of the capsule wearing his cowboy hat.

All crew members were greeted by their family members, who were standing next to the capsule, waiting for the gate to be opened.

5 min ago

The crew is back on Earth and out of the capsule

After completing procedural status checks, the crew aboard the New Shepard stepped out of the just-landed capsule.

On board today’s flight were Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.

 

6 min ago

And we have touchdown

Blue Origin
Blue Origin

The crew capsule just made its landing, kicking up a large cloud of desert dust.

Before hitting the ground, the capsule uses what’s called a “retrothrust system,” which creates an air cushion under the gum-drop-shaped vehicle to further cushion to blow of landing. What’s more, each of the passengers’ seats also sit on top of scissor-like shock absorption mechanisms.

On the livestream of the launch, an expert described it as a “soft touchdown,” and “like sitting in a chair.”

 WATCH:

 

3 min ago

This is what the ride to space felt like for passengers, according to a former astronaut

From CNN’s Elise Hammond

Retired Col. Chris Hadfield, a former astronaut, said passengers on the Blue Origin flight felt like a “big gorilla has been jumping on you and just threw you off a cliff” as the capsule rocketed into space to weightlessness.

“It’s the ultimate dragster,” he told CNN. “They’re going to be shaking. Their back teeth are going to rattle.”

He said the rocket will have to punch its way through the atmosphere so there will be a “whole bunch of vibration.”

Then “there will be this instantaneous wham – and like magic, some big gorilla has been jumping on you and just threw you off a cliff, and suddenly you’re weightless. They’re all just about to experience that,” he said.

He said these three minutes of weightlessness will go by very quickly.

“I think the real important thing is to just live it. Absolutely absorb, become hyper aware. Focus on what’s going on around you,” he said. “The difference of weightlessness and the amazing view out the window. You have to be a sponge, a human sponge, absorbing the magical experience.”

 

10 min ago

Touchdown for the booster rocket

The New Shepard rocket booster has made touchdown!

The rocket booster created a sonic boom before returning to the ground in its upright position, using little fins to keep itself upright and oriented. Some breaks near the top of the rocket are also helping it slow down.

About 3,000 feet above the ground the engine will relight, slowing it down to manageable speeds just before it hits terra firma.

Jeff Bezos and his fellow fliers, meanwhile, are still making their way back toward the ground.

 

8 min ago

Passengers cheer as they rocket to space

Jeff Bezos and the New Shepard passengers could be heard cheering and whooping during their journey to space.

“It’s dark up here!” 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk exclaimed.

Another one of the four said there was a “very happy crew up here.”

 

10 min ago

The booster is back on the landing pad

The rocket booster created a sonic boom before returning to the ground in its upright position, using little fins to keep itself upright and oriented. Some breaks near the top of the rocket are also helping it slow down.

About 3,000 feet above the ground the engine will relight, slowing it down to manageable speeds just before it hits terra firma.

13 min ago

And now, it’s time to float around and soak in the views��

The New Shepard capsule just hit the very top of its flight path — more than 65 miles above ground — and the passengers are all experiencing about three minutes of weightlessness.

They’ll be able to unstrap from their seats and float about the cabin while taking in panoramic views of the Earth and cosmos.

Quick reminder: Experiencing zero gravity has nothing to do with altitude. The Earth’s gravitational pull is still very much tugging on the capsule, but it’s now reached “apogee” — the term in spaceflight for the very top of a flight path.

The astronauts are weightless because the energy the rocket and capsule drummed up on the way up is now being canceled out by the Earth’s gravity, giving them a very extreme version of the sensation you experience when you reach the very peak of a big roller coaster hill.

 

14 min ago

JUST IN: Bezos has reached space

The New Shepard capsule just soared past the 62-mile-high so-called Karman Line, which is frequently referred to as the altitude at which outer space begins.

The capsule is now heading for the peak of its flight path.

 

14 min ago

New Shepard capsule and booster separate

Blue Origin
Blue Origin

Everything is going right on schedule.

The New Shepard rocket finished firing, and its engine just kicked off. In rocket jargon, this is referred to as “MECO” or “main engine cut off.”

The crew capsule — with Bezos and his three fellow passengers on board — then separated from the rocket and is continuing to vault upward.

The booster, which is more aerodynamically shaped and will begin falling back to Earth quicker than the capsule, will now head back down for a controlled, pinpoint landing on a ground pad.

 

18 min ago

Max Q: The New Shepard just hit a major milestone

The New Shepard rocket and capsule just experienced what’s called “Max Q,” an aerospace term that refers to the point during flight at which a vehicle experiences its maximum dynamic pressure.

Put simply: It’s when the rocket is drumming up high speeds at a time when the atmosphere is still pretty thick, putting a lot of pressure on the vehicle. 

Here’s NASA’s explanation:

“The density of the air decreases with altitude in a complex manner. The velocity of a rocket during launch is constantly increasing with altitude. Therefore, the dynamic pressure on a rocket during launch is initially zero because the velocity is zero. The dynamic pressure increases because of the increasing velocity to some maximum value, called the maximum dynamic pressure, or Max Q. Then the dynamic pressure decreases because of the decreasing density.”

 

14 min ago

We have liftoff: Jeff Bezos and the other passengers are now on their way to space

Blue Origin
Blue Origin

The New Shepard rocket just fired up its engines, blasting off from its concrete launch  pad with Jeff Bezos and his fellow passengers strapped inside.

About 16 seconds into flight, the New Shepard booster capsule will start to rotate ever so slightly, completing one full turn every two or three minutes, giving all the astronauts a  360-degree view of their surroundings as they blast toward the upper reaches of the  Earth’s atmosphere.

The entire flight is expected to take about 11 minutes.

WATCH:

 

17 min ago

The bridge around the capsule has retracted

The bridge around the Blue Origin ship is retracting now, signifying just minutes from launch.

The New Shepard just launched from the concrete pad. The passengers on board can hear all this happening through their headsets inside the capsule as well.

The flight will go more than 60 miles above Earth and the whole thing will last about 11 minutes.

 

28 min ago

Bezos: “I could have done this flight as CEO of Amazon”

From CNN’s Jackie Wattles and Rachel Crane

Jeff Bezos inspecting the booster on the landing pad after a NS-15 flight and landing test.
Jeff Bezos inspecting the booster on the landing pad after a NS-15 flight and landing test.

Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon — which he helmed for the past 27 years — on July 5.

Though the leadership transition was previously announced, it kicked off quite a bit of speculation about whether Bezos had to quit because taking a supersonic jaunt to the edge of space is too dangerous for the head honcho at one of the world’s largest dot-com companies.

But Bezos told CNN Business’ Rachel Crane in an interview that wasn’t the case:

“I could have done this flight as CEO of Amazon and it would have been fine. First of all, we really believe this flight is safe. I had friends say to me ‘how ‘bout the second flight or the third flight? Why do you have to go on the first flight?’ And the point is, we know the vehicle is safe. If it’s not safe for me, then it’s not safe for anyone.”

 

29 min ago

New Shepard gets a “go” for launch

The New Shepard flight controllers just ran through final checks with a “Go/No-go” poll at mission control, where all the different teams — the ones that oversee the capsule, booster and ground systems — all give an auditory “GO” for launch.

The passengers on board can hear all this happening through their headsets inside the capsule as well.

 

30 min ago

Bezos’ sister has a message for her brothers as they prepare for liftoff

The sibling of Jeff Bezos and his younger brother Mark, Christina, had some very sisterly advice for them as they get ready to go to space: “Now hurry up and getting your asses back down here so I can give you a huge hug.”

The message was read on Blue Origins’ livestream. She also said she was “so excited” for her brothers, adding that going to space was something that Jeff Bezos wanted to do his whole life and that they used to act out “Star Trek” when they were young.

“Your passion for space is infectious,” she wrote of him.

WATCH:

 

41 min ago

How safe is the Blue Origin rocket?

From CNN’s Aditi Sangal and Rachel Crane

Blue Origin
Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos is set to fly to space in New Shepard, the Blue Origin rocket that has had 15 successful test launches but has never flown humans before. So how safe is it?

Blue Origin’s senior director Gary Lai, a former NASA employee, says it is the safest capsule and vehicle ever made for a man’s flight to space, adding that he would even fly his children on board, CNN’s Rachel Crane reports.

“Every system on board that is needed for safety has a backup. And in most cases, there is a backup to the backup,” he told CNN.

“The biggest backup system on board is the crew escape system. If there is something that’s detected that’s wrong with the rocket, it will automatically ignite a solid rocking motor that will propel the capsule away … and land safely,” he said.

Lai, who is called the architect of New Shepard, gave another example to demonstrate the safety of the rocket:

“We have three parachutes on board; they open every time. We’ve never had a failure. But only one of them actually has to open to land safely. And that’s just the start. Every computer on board, every battery, every sensor, every wire, every mechanism that we need for safety has one or two backups.”

Watch:

 

41 min ago

Jeff Bezos waves and Mark Bezos gives thumbs up as hatch closes

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

Jeff Bezos waved and his brother Mark Bezos gave a thumbs up as the hatch on the New Shepard closed, according to a video feed provided by Blue Origin.

Liftoff is expected just after 9 a.m. ET.

 

46 min ago

Elon Musk wishes Bezos luck

From CNN’s Jackie Wattles

After a fairly tense couple of weeks in which SpcaeX CEO Elon Musk took several public jabs at Bezos and Blue Origin, Musk tweeted well wishes to Bezos early Tuesday morning.

45 min ago

The hatch of the capsule is now closed

The passengers are all strapped in, and New Shepard’s hatch is now sealed, locking the future astronauts inside for their journey.

The flight is expected to take off just after 9 a.m. ET.

 

48 min ago

This crew capsule is called “RSS First Step”

From CNN’s Jackie Wattles

The view from the capsule on Mission NS-15 on April 14, 2021.
The view from the capsule on Mission NS-15 on April 14, 2021. Blue Origin

Over the past decade, Blue Origin has built and flown four different New Shepard vehicles on a grand total of 14 different fully automated, uncrewed test flights. And the vehicle that will be used on Tuesday is the same one that flew the previous two test flights.

The company is known to paint a small picture of a tortoise on the side of a capsule after each flight as a sort of visual tally for how many spaceflights each vehicle has flown. and It’s also a hat tip to the official Blue Origin mascot, which the company says symbolizes its slow-and-steady development philosophy.

The New Shepard crew capsule that will be flying today’s mission also has a name — RSS First Step, which stands for “Reusable Space Ship First Step.”

Each dome-shaped New Shepard crew capsule is about 10 feet high and 12.5 feet wide. They also have six windows that Blue Origin advertises as “the largest windows in space,” a clear dig at the airplane-style windows on the space planes built by the company’s direct competitor, Virgin Galactic, which has circular airplane-style windows.

For a peek at what the astronauts will see during their trip, here’s a video captured from inside a New Shepard capsule during a 2017 test flight that also flew a dummy nicknamed “Mannequin Skywalker.”

 

34 min ago

Jeff Bezos and his fellow travelers are strapped in for liftoff

New Shepard is now fully fueled, and Jeff Bezos and his fellow passengers left the launch site’s “safety zone” and scrambled across an arial walkway that allows them to board the capsule as it sits atop the 53-foot-tall rocket.

Bezos and his fellow astronauts — his brother Mark Bezos, pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen — are now strapped in and waiting for liftoff, which is expected just after 9 a.m. ET.

WATCH:

 

40 min ago

The passengers have entered the crew capsule

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, pilot Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen have entered the crew capsule and are preparing to take off. As they enter the cabin, they will get fastened, according to a video feed provided by Blue Origin.

The excursion is expected to last about 11 minutes from takeoff to landing.

Jeff Bezos and his fellow passengers are on the New Shepard, a suborbital capsule and rocket system.

WATCH:

 

42 min ago

Here’s what Wally Funk says she’ll be doing to commemorate her spaceflight

Blue Origin
Blue Origin

Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pilot on board the flight today, said she is taking her camera up in the New Shepard rocket ship and will be taking a photo of a postcard, which shows herself and an American flag with Earth behind her.

Funk said on Blue Origins livestream that young children should get their parents to give them a flight to see if they like it. If they want to continue, “something’s going to be in your heart that’s going to want you to do that.”

 

50 min ago

Jeff Bezos and passengers have left the astronaut safety shelter

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, pilot Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen rang the ceremonial bell after leaving the astronaut safety shelter.

They are preparing to enter the crew capsule.

 

By Jackie WattlesAditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya, Melissa MahtaniMeg Wagner and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 9:28 a.m. ET, July 20, 2021

Sources from: CNN

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