Blue Origin Will Crash Crew Capsule on Purpose During an Upcoming Launch
The goal with rocket launches is typically not to crash, but according to The Verge, Blue Origin has announced plans to move in the opposite direction with an upcoming launch. Having already proven (on separate occasions) that the company can launch and land a reusable rocket, Blue Origin now wants to intentionally crash the crew capsule attached to the New Shepard reusable rocket during an upcoming test flight.
In email to subscribers, the company's CEO Jeff Bezos explained the decision, writing, "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." The test will also involve "additional maneuvers" for the capsule and the booster rocket.
It's a departure from Blue Origin's main competitor, Elon Musk's SpaceX, which has been making headlines for sticking landings, after a brief history unfortunate errors.
The capsule will be unmanned during the test, so there is no risk of human injury, but the demonstration will ultimately help Blue Origin make the vehicles safer, Bezos added. So far, the crash date has not been revealed.
Blue Origin's New Shepard crew capsule after separation from the propulsion module
[h/t The Verge]Images via Blue Origin