Mission: Abort Test
On Oct. 5, 2016, the private spaceflight company Blue Origin launched its New Shepard rocket and crew capsule to test a novel "pusher" escape system for the suborbital crew capsule. During the test, the space capsule separated from the reusable rocket mid-air. See photos of the launch, which occurred at Blue Origin's West Texas proving grounds, here. Read our full story and watch the video here.
New Shepard Ready for Launch
The New Shepard rocket stands on the launch pad at Blue Origin's West Texas testing grounds 3 seconds before launch on Oct. 5, 2016. Read our full story and watch the video here.
New Shepard Abort Motor
Blue Origin's New Shepard space capsule is designed to carry paying customers on trips to suborbital space. As a safety measure, the capsule has a rocket motor (seen in this graphic) designed to pull the capsule free of its booster in the event of a launch emergency. That abort system is what Blue Origin tested during the Oct. 5 launch. Read our full story and watch the video here.
How Blue Origin's Suborbital Rocket Ride Works
Here's a full look at Blue Origin's New Shepard crew capsule and booster. Both craft are reusable, and in fact made their fifth flight together during the Oct. 5 test.Read our full story and watch the video here.
Escape Capsule Ready For Launch
Blue Origin's space capsule, which is designed to carry humans into suborbital flight, sits atop the New Shepard rocket booster as Blue Origin prepares for liftoff at 11:07 a.m. EDT on Oct. 5.
Delayed on the Launch Pad
The Blue Origin rocket and space capsule endured 3 short delays of up to 20 minutes before being cleared for launch on Oct. 5.
Firing Up the Rocket Booster
At 11:36 a.m. EDT on Oct. 5, the Blue Origin rocket ignited its engines and began lifting off.
Blue Origin New Shepard Rocket Launched Successfully
The New Shepard rocket and capsule successfully launched at 11:36 a.m. EDT on Oct. 5. Next, the crew capsule will detach from the rocket booster. Read our full story and watch the video here.
New Shepard Capsule In-Flight Abort
Blue Origin's New Shepard crew capsule streaks away from its booster during an unmanned in-flight abort test over West Texas in this still from a Blue Origin webcast on Oct. 5. Read our full story and watch the video here.
Blue Origin New Shepard Capsule Separation
This dual screen view from a Blue Origin webcast shows the company's New Shepard crew capsule rocketing away from its booster (which is visible in the inset at lower right) during an in-flight abort test over West Texas on Oct. 5, 2016. Read our full story and watch the video here.
Blue Origin Space Capsule Topples After Separation
The unmanned Blue Origin space capsule, which is designed to one day carry people to suborbital flight, topples after successfully separating from the rocket booster at 11:37 a.m. EDT on Oct. 5. Read our full story and watch the video here.
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Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.