Encyclopedia Astronautica
New Shepard

American VTOVL test vehicle.

Success Rate: 100.00%. Launch data is: continuing.

Status: Active.
First Launch: 2006.11.13.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • New Shepard American manned spacecraft. Flight tests begun 2006. Vertical takeoff/vertical landing suborbital tourist spacecraft being developed by Blue Origin and scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2010. More...

See also
  • VTOVL The concept of a reusable single-stage-to-orbit Vertical Take-Off Vertical Landing (VTOVL) launch vehicle that would reenter and return to its launch site for turnaround and relaunch was first proposed by Philip Bono in the 1960's. The appealing simplicity of the concept has been offset by the technological risk in developing it. The problem with any single-stage-to-orbit concept is that if the empty weight of the final vehicle has been underestimated it will not be able to deliver any payload to orbit, or even reach orbit. Since weight growth of up to 20% is not unknown in aerospace projects, this is a very real threat which has made both NASA and private investors reluctant to invest the billions of dollars it would take to develop a full-scale flight vehicle. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Blue Origin Blue Origin was founded and funded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of amazon.com. Commercial space passenger service would be conducted from a private spaceport at the 165,000-acre Corn Ranch, 40 kilometers north of Van Horn, west Texas. The launch point would be 8 kilometers west of Highway 54. The spaceport included a vehicle processing facility, a launch complex, vehicle landing and recovery area, an astronaut training facility, lodging, and other support facilities. The launch pad covered 3,000 square meters; the landing pad would be located 6.1 km north of it. More...

New Shepard Chronology

2006 November 13 - . Launch Site: Blue Origin. Launch Vehicle: New Shepard.
  • First test launch of New Shepard subscale prototype - . Nation: USA. Agency: Blue Origin. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: New Shepard. The test vehicle, dubbed Goddard, lifted off and landed vertically, and reached 90 m altitude. The launch, delayed twice for winds, came at the end of a three-day FAA-approved window. Video and pictures issued indicated that the test vehicle was a subscale (about 84%) version of the final manned vehicle; and that it used a hydrogen peroxide monopropellant rocket engines in place of the hydrogen peroxide/kerosene engines planned for the production vehicle.

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