Blue Origin’s next space flight will crash, and it will be entirely intentional.
Company CEO Jeff Bezos has announced the company’s intention to deliberately sabotage one of the key recovery systems on its next rocket flight.
“On this upcoming mission we also plan to stress the crew capsule by landing with an intentionally failed parachute, demonstrating our ability to safely handle that failure scenario,” says Bezos. “It promises to be an exciting demonstration.”
Needless to say, the capsule itself will be empty for this next flight. But the whole idea is to make things safer for when it isn’t empty.
Blue Origin is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s pet space flight project. It will eventually offer regular citizens of Earth the ability to buy a flight and achieve four minutes of weightlessness at the edge of space.
It’s hoped that Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket will be ready to open for business in 2018. To that end, Blue Origin has already successfully launched, landed and recovered the same New Shepherd rocket three times.
Yes, just like SpaceX, the future of affordable space travel according to Blue Origin is being able to reuse the gear.
Related: What is SpaceX?
In addition to the hobbled parachute, Blue Origin will be testing a few new manoeuvres during its next flight.
“On this next mission, we’ll execute additional manoeuvres on both the crew capsule and the booster to increase our vehicle characterisation and modelling accuracy,” explains Bezos.
No date has been given for this latest test flight.