Blue Origin to Conduct Astronaut Rehearsal Test on New Shepard Launch April 14: Watch Live

Blue Origin to Conduct Astronaut Rehearsal Test on New Shepard Launch April 14: Watch Live
View of New Shepard rocket vehicle at Blue Origin’s launch site in West Texas. Credit: Blue Origin

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL –  Blue Origin plans to conduct an astronaut rehearsal test simulating flights with humans for the next flight of their New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle during a launch targeted for Wednesday morning, April 14 from the company’s West Texas test site.

Liftoff of the New Shepard suborbital vehicle on the NS-15 mission is slated for 11:15 AM EDT 10:15 AM CDT / 1515 GMT on April 14, 2021 from Launch Site One on Blue Origin’s West Texas site north of Van Horn, Texas.

Live launch coverage webcast starts at T-60 minutes on BlueOrigin.com

The live footage will include footage of the astronaut rehearsal activities, said Blue Origin in a statement.

The goal of the NS-15 mission is to carry out real life rehearsal tests as practice for the time when Blue Origin will actually start launching  humans to the edge of space for several minutes of weightlessness on future customer flights of the suborbital New Shepard capsule and rocket.

New Shepard NS-14 mission liftoff on January 14, 2021 from Launch Site One in West Texas. Credit: Blue Origin

Blue Origin is founded and funded by billionaire Jeff Bezos.

“NS-15 is a verification step for the vehicle and operations prior to flying astronauts,” said Blue Origin.

“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 astronaut stand ins will then exit the capsule prior to the actual launch.

Similarly, post-landing, the astronauts stand ins will get inside the capsule to rehearse hatch opening, as though they had participated in the launch and then exit the capsule at the landing site.

This New Shepard vehicle previously flew to an altitude of 107 kilometers on the NS-14 mission launched on Jan. 14, 2021 from Launch Site One in West Texas

Inside the capsule during the NS-15  flight will be Mannequin Skywalker.

Watch this view from NS-14:

The last launch was conducted in January 2021 on the NS-14 mission

The New Shepard crew capsule outfitted with astronaut experience upgrades lands at Launch Site One. (January 14, 2021)

There have been 14 successful flights thus far

Blue Origin is also building the orbit class New Glenn rocket which will launch from pad 36 on Cape Canaveral space Force Station in Florida.

The massive pad is under construction as seen in my photo here:

Blue Origin Launch Complex-36 under construction on Cape Canaveral space Force Station in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpclose.com

Blue Origin is also competing for a NASA contract to build a human lunar lander for Project Artemis.

They are designing the Blue Moon lunar lander under the auspices of  National Team led by Blue Origin.

Diagram of Blue Origin National Team’s Artemis Human Landing System. Credit: Blue Origin

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about ISS, Artemis and NASA missions, SpaceX, Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2, Demo-2, ISS, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

 

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.

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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Please consider supporting Ken’s work by donating at Patreon:

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Upcoming Events:

April 17: American Space Museum Titusville, FL, from 11 am to 2 pm. Ask me about NASA missions, Mars rovers, human spaceflight and more – with shuttle technician and Sew Sister Jean Wright.  Display of my Mars mosaics and space and rocket photos for sale – as well as Jean Wright custom sewn space face masks and space apparel and more

 

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Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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