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How Blue Origin's Suborbital New Shepard Rocket Ride Works (Infographic)

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Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos leads Blue Origin, a commercial aerospace firm that hopes to send people on suborbital and orbital space trips. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)

New Shepard, named after Mercury astronaut and Apollo moonwalker Alan Shepard, is Jeff Bezos’ scheme for high-altitude, near-space tourism. A propulsion module (rocket) lobs the crew to an altitude of 307,000 feet (93,573 meters) – 

well above the height required to earn NASA astronaut wings. The rocket returns to its launch site and lands, while the crew capsule descends on a parachute.

 

The six-person crew capsule has an interior volume of 530 cubic feet (15 cubic meters). The capsule has six big observation windows that the company boasts are the largest-ever windows on a spacecraft.

 

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Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.