Blue Origin is preparing to take tourists to space aboard its New Shepard launcher. From a hundred kilometers above the ground, guests will be able to appreciate an exceptional view of the Earth. First tickets will be available soon.
For several years, the company Blue origin plans to take tourists to space a little over a hundred kilometers above our heads. These flights will take place aboard the New Shepard launcher. A few days ago, it operated its fifteenth automatic flight test from the Corn Ranch site in Texas (video at the end of the article). This test was a “dress rehearsal” before the company’s first manned flight.
Installed in a very comfortable capsule, the passengers (up to six) will experience acceleration forces of 3 G to 4 G during the ascent (G for gravity, Editor’s note). Once in space, travelers will experience between five and ten minutes of weightlessness during which they will be able to appreciate the view of our planet through giant portholes. Then, you will have to go back down and in the process, wipe forces of up to 5 G.
Tickets available soon
So, interested? For those who wish, Blue Origin will soon start selling tickets. The “ticket office” has been open since May 5, in a nod to the 60th anniversary of the first American space flight signed by astronaut Alan Shepard (about fifteen minutes in space). You will understand, the name of the Blue Origin launcher is directly inspired by this astronaut. The first commercial flight will take place on July 20, the company said.
Nevertheless, it is still necessary to have the means! Blue Origin has yet to officially release pricing for these tickets (we’ll find out on May 5). According to specialists, this should probably be between $ 100,000 and $ 200,000. By comparison, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin’s main competitor in this emerging suborbital space tourism sector, will offer seats at US $ 250,000.
Ultimately, Blue Origin plans to fly every six weeks or so. However, everything will depend on demand.
Remember also that NASA has just signed an agreement with Blue Origin to use a “modified version” of this New Shepard capsule. The objective will be to offer flights capable of simulating the reduced gravity felt on the surface of the Moon (one sixth of that of the Earth). In this way, the American agency will be able to develop and test new instruments in anticipation of its future permanent establishment on our satellite.