The New Shepard reusable launch system is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), suborbital manned rocket that is being developed by Blue Origin as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism.
Blue Origin is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos with its headquarters in Kent, Washington. The company is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability. Blue Origin currently launches its New Shepard sub-orbital vehicle from its West Texas launch site, they are currently constructing a launch pad for their orbital vehicle New Glenn at Cape Canaveral LC-36.
Seventeenth flight of New Shepard. It will carry a second NASA lunar landing technology demonstration on the exterior of the booster, 18 commercial payloads inside the crew capsule, and an art installation on the exterior of the capsule.Suborbital NS-3 - Flight Proven ( ) Corn Ranch Landing Pad, West Texas
Fifteenth flight of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket. During the mission, astronaut operational exercises will be conducted in preparation for human space flight. The primary operations will entail Blue Origin personnel standing in as astronauts entering into the capsule prior to launch. These astronauts will climb the launch tower, get into their seats, buckle their harnesses, and conduct a communications check from their seat with CAPCOM, the Capsule Communicator. The tower operations team will prepare the capsule cabin for launch and then briefly close the capsule hatch. The astronauts will then exit the capsule prior to launch. Post-landing, the astronauts will get inside the capsule to rehearse hatch opening, and exiting the capsule at the landing site. Inside the capsule during the flight will be Mannequin Skywalker, along with more than 25,000 postcards on behalf of Club for the Future, Blue Origin’s nonprofit organizationSuborbital NS-4 - Flight Proven ( ) Corn Ranch Landing Pad, West Texas
For this mission, the New Shepard crew capsule will be outfitted with upgrades for the astronaut experience as the program nears human space flight. The upgrades include improvements to environmental features such as acoustics and temperature regulation inside the capsule, crew display panels, and speakers with a microphone and push-to-talk button at each seat. The mission will also test a number of astronaut communication and safety alert systems. The capsule will be outfitted with six seats, including one occupied by Mannequin Skywalker.Suborbital NS-4 - Maiden Flight Corn Ranch Landing Pad, West Texas
This will be the 13th New Shepard mission and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle (a record), demonstrating its operational reusability. New Shepard will fly 12 commercial payloads to space and back on this mission, including the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration with NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate under a Tipping Point partnership. This is the first payload to fly mounted on the exterior of a New Shepard booster rather than inside the capsule, opening the door to a wide range of future high-altitude sensing, sampling, and exposure payloads.Suborbital NS-3 - Flight Proven ( ) Corn Ranch Landing Pad, West Texas