Climb aboard Blue Origin’s rocket for a (simulated) space ride

Blue Origin
Tourist trips to the edge of space — for those with the appropriate stomach strength and wallet size — could kick off in the next couple of years thanks to the likes of Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin private space company.

Bezos, a seriously ambitious individual who also founded the now-gargantuan Amazon, is planning to launch the first sub-orbital rides for tourists aboard the New Shepard rocket as early as next year.

The cost of a ticket is currently unknown, though we imagine that for most wannabe travelers, securing the funds for the trip may involve shenanigans of the illegal variety or extremely good luck in the lottery. But there will soon be a much easier way to experience a ride on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. Sort of.

It will mean heading to the EAA AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from July 24-30, and seeking out the Blue Origin exhibit.

Beside a New Shepard rocket, you’ll also find a full-size mockup of the astronaut crew capsule that forms part of Blue Origin’s reusable rocket system.

It holds six people, and visitors will have a chance to climb aboard, sit back in one of the comfy seats, and experience a simulated trip to space thanks to footage shot during previous missions by the New Shepard’s onboard cameras.

The crew capsule, which is yet to be tested by humans during an actual Blue Origin mission, features the largest windows “in spaceflight history,” according to the company. This means that every space tourist and astronaut — as well as everyone on the simulated ride — will be able to marvel at the awesome view outside as the spacecraft heads toward space, and back again.

“We are very excited to come to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 and showcase our reusable New Shepard rocket and crew capsule so everyone can experience what it’s like to be an astronaut,” said Blue Origin president Rob Meyerson. “We hope to inspire the explorers of tomorrow, the ones who will help us achieve Blue Origin’s goal of millions of people living and working in space.”

Bezos and his Blue Origin team nailed their first rocket landing back in 2015, with four more achieved since then. They also beat SpaceX to become the first to reuse a rocket, landing one for the second time last year. The team has been working to perfect its reusable system, which includes the all-important crew capsule that will one day carry tourists and astronauts spaceward.

While the Oshkosh experience will involve everyone remaining well and truly on terra firma, future space tourists will be able to enjoy a trip 62 miles above Earth to experience “life-changing views of our blue planet.” They’ll even be able to release their harness and experience the freedom of weightlessness during what is certain to be a spectacular 11-minute ride of a lifetime.

Emerging Tech

Does a steam-powered spacecraft hold the key to exploring the solar system?

A newly developed spacecraft prototype capable of using steam as a propellent may help the first miners survey potential dig sites and identify space rocks best fit for mining missions. Future versions may be fitted with sensors, allowing…
Gaming

You can play these classic Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One

The Xbox One supports backward compatibility with a growing library of Xbox 360 games. These are the best Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible with Xbox One, including action games, shooters, and more.
Emerging Tech

U.K. company sets a record for world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine

U.K. startup Orbex has unveiled the world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine. It's up to 30 percent lighter and 20 percent more efficient than other similarly sized rockets. Here's how it will be used.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic donates record-breaking SpaceShipTwo rocket to the Smithsonian

Private space company Virgin Galactic recently donated the record-breaking rocket motor of SpaceShipTwo — aka VSS Unity — to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Emerging Tech

A river of stars one billion years old flows across the southern sky

Astronomers have identified a river of stars flowing across our galaxy and covering most of the southern sky. The estimated 4000 stars that comprise the stream were born together and have been moving together for the last one billion years.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Emerging Tech

Descending at an angle could be key to landing heavier craft on Mars

Landing on Mars is a challenge: The heavier the craft, the more difficult a safe landing becomes. Scientists propose using retropropulsion engines and angling the craft to create a pressure differential to land heavier crafts in the future.
Emerging Tech

Ant-inspired walking robot navigates without GPS by using polarized light

What do you get if you cross Boston Dynamics and Ant-Man? You get Antbot, a robot from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) which uses ant-like navigation to move around without the aid of GPS.
Emerging Tech

InSight’s heat probe will dig 16 feet beneath the surface of Mars

New images from NASA's InSight mission to Mars have confirmed that the lander succeeded in setting the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument onto the surface, from where a self-hammering spike will burrow downwards.
Emerging Tech

White spots on Ceres are evidence of ancient ice volcanoes erupting

Scientists are pouring over data collected by NASA's Dawn mission to learn about the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright white spots observed at the bottom of impact craters. They believe that these spots are evidence of ice volcanoes.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.