On the same day that Blue Origin set a new record for the most launch and landings for a single rocket booster, the company offered its first-ever video tour of the inside of its crew capsule.
Blue Origin, set up by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000, has built the capsule for its New Shepard rocket, which has already taken multiple uncrewed flights since its first outing five years ago.
The capsule, when certified for human flight, will carry up to six space tourists and researchers at a time on short sub-orbital space trips high above Earth.
At first glance, it’s the capsule’s enormous windows that really stand out. Described by Blue Origin as the largest windows to ever fly in space, they’ll afford passengers aboard the capsule stunning views of our planet from around 340,000 feet up — slightly above the Karman Line that’s widely considered as the starting point of space.
The reclining seats certainly look the part, too, offering travelers plenty of comfort during their trip of a lifetime. They won’t be sitting in them the whole time, either, as they’ll be able to unbuckle for a few minutes of weightlessness midway through the adventure.
For extra safety, the base of each seat includes a scissor mechanism to reduce any downward force experienced on landing, though the capsule’s parachutes will of course slow its speed significantly before it reaches the ground.
The capsule also includes numerous cameras so that travelers aboard the spacecraft will be able to share their memories with everyone back on terra firma — just be sure to know when to stop going on about it at dinner parties.
During the ascent, the capsule will reach speeds of around 2,200 mph. Following the separation of the capsule from the booster at around 250,000 feet, the capsule will go on to reach a peak altitude of around 340,000 feet. The entire experience from launch to landing will last around 11 minutes.
Blue Origin isn’t the only company planning to offer out-of-this-world trips to high-paying tourists.
Virgin Galactic, backed by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, is moving toward the launch of a service similar to Blue Origin’s, while SpaceX is planning more ambitious trips, including to the International Space Station.
Despite the excitement surrounding what would undoubtedly be an incredible experience, there are those who oppose the idea, describing it as “a wholly unnecessary use of resources by a very small elite of people and organizations” and which may cause damage to the environment.
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