When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos yesterday (20th July) his pioneering journey into space, in Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket ship, it was liquid hydrogen and oxygen that got him there.
New Shepard’s first successful human space flight consisted of Bezos and his brother, who were accompanied by the Wally Funk, the oldest person to fly to space, and Oliver Daemen, the youngest person to fly to space.
The rocket’s main engine, dubbed BE-3PM, uses high performing liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen – and it is designed to lower both maintenance requirements and costs.
At full throttle, Blue Origin said the BE-3PM engine generates 490kN thrust at sea level. When returning to Earth, it throttles down to 90kN for a gentle vertical landing.
On the launch, Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, said, “Today was a monumental day for Blue Origin and human space flight.”
“I am so incredibly proud of Team Blue, their professionalism and their expertise in executing today’s flight. This was a big step forward for us and is only the beginning.”
Upon a safe landing, the astronauts were greeted by their families and Blue Origin’s ground operations team for a celebration in the West Texas desert.
Blue Origin expects to fly two more crewed flights this year, with many more crewed flights planned for 2022.