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16 votes
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Why does Blue Origin land the crew capsule separate from the booster?

It would be extremely unstable. There are 2 things that weight a lot on an empty rocket, the capsule and the engine. With the two of them on opposite sides, the rocket would become extremely unstable. ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
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15 votes
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Do Blue Origin's BE-3 engines need to run for 7 seconds to "warm up"?

The startup of the BE-3 is slower because it uses the Tap-Off cycle. Hot gas from the main combustion chamber is tapped off to run the twin turbines that power the fuel (LH2) and oxidizer (LOX) ...
coypu76's user avatar
  • 166
14 votes

Why two engines on stage 2 of New Glenn if it's disposable?

In 2015-2016, the New Glenn design was expected to use a single BE-4 methane-LOX engine on the second stage (about 2400kN thrust), and a single BE-3 (the same as the suborbital New Shepard's single ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
10 votes
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What happens to Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule if their one engine fails?

The capsule is equipped with a Launch Escape System capable of aborting from pad or in-flight. The pad abort was already tested in 2012: http://www.nasa.gov/...
jkavalik's user avatar
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10 votes
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Is New Shepard an orbit-capable first stage? Could an (albeit small) 2nd stage with propulsion be put on top that could put a smallsat into orbit?

I think we can all agree that the crux of this question is in the New Shepard specifications, feel free to offer improvements to these. Here are the ones I arrived at (note: there is no recovery of ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
9 votes

Hard (15mph) landing, no retrorockets fired?

The live stream shows clear evidence of the retro rockets firing (they don't fire for long, nor do they have to): Notably, see the dust cloud form before there is ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
9 votes

How many burns does New Shepard have during a descent?

Only one burn, just before landing, according to Blue Origin's broadcast of NS-12's flight. The only events during climb relating to engines are liftoff and MECO (main engine cut off). After apogee, ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
9 votes
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What is the delta-V equivalent to cross the Kármán line in vertical (suborbital) flight?

We can get an best-case estimate by just solving the equations of motion: $$s = \frac{1}{2}(u + v)t $$ Where $$t = \frac{v-u}{a}$$ Since we want $v = 0ms^{-1}$ at $s = 100,000m$, we get: $$s = \...
Jack's user avatar
  • 9,956
8 votes
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How many burns does New Shepard have during a descent?

The Falcon 9 first stage is making three burns wile descending: Nope. It is making two burns while descending. boostback burn This burn happens while the rocket is still ascending. This burn only ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
6 votes
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Will the New Shepard be able to sit for long holds when filled with passengers?

LOX and LH2 tanks that are boiling from equilibrium can be replenished via umbilicals. You can see one here: In some launch videos, it can be seen to detach right around engine start time. This lets ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
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6 votes

Why does Blue Origin land the crew capsule separate from the booster?

There's 2 major reasons: safety and practicality Safety: If you look at the history of booster landings it is not a proven technology, the reliability is not good enough for safety. Don't get me ...
GdD's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why is the flame color from the New Shepard engine orange?

The first few feet of exhaust from the New Shepard is clear, and the reddish plume fades with altitude, so we can rule out an ablative liner like the Delta IV's RS-68 engine uses -- that would produce ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
5 votes

What are the pods on stage 1 of Blue Origin's New Glenn?

Based on other promotional images of New Glenn that show it from different angles, they would appear to be fins: (Note how the edge appears to be sharp, suggesting a thin shape) (source)
ThatCoolCoder's user avatar
4 votes
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How is New Shepard the first suborbital booster to successfully perform a powered vertical soft landing?

Why do they say that New Shepard is the first one to do so? Because December (first successful landing of a Falcon 9 booster) is after November (first successful landing of New Shepard).
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
4 votes

Why does the New Shepard Crew Capsule sometimes deploy 3 parachutes and sometimes deploys only 2 parachutes?

Because both capsules used THREE chutes? The only New Shepard that landed on only two chutes was the june 2016 deliberate-parachute-failure test.
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
4 votes
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How are New Shepard's tilting fins and gimbaling nozzle used together (or separately) to control the rocket?

According to the Blue Origin publicity web site https://www.blueorigin.com/new-shepard/ , the aft fin hydraulics are effective up to mach 4 (altitude isn't specified, but actual max is [remember it's ...
amI's user avatar
  • 720
4 votes

How does New Shepard Crew Capsule sense proximity to trigger retropropulsion just before impact?

New Shepard had two separate sensors for ground proximity, for its flights on 2020 Oct 13 and 2021 Aug 16. Section III of New Shepard Flight Test Results from Blue Origin De-Orbit Descent and Landing ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
3 votes
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How long will Blue Origin's New Shepard space tourist flights last?

Yes, it will only be a few minutes. (Source: blueorigin.com)
ariel's user avatar
  • 167
3 votes

How are New Shepard's tilting fins and gimbaling nozzle used together (or separately) to control the rocket?

It's worth noting this is rather unique as its requried to be aerodynamically stable when going forwards and backwards. This is tricky as the centre-of-lift/pressure has to be 'behind' the centre of ...
drjpizzle's user avatar
  • 349
3 votes
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How does launching suborbital payloads on New Shepard compare to sounding rockets?

The flight profile of a sounding rocket and the New Shepard are very different. For one, sounding rockets often fly higher than NS with some reaching altitudes of up to 1500 km. Additionally, sounding ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
  • 19.2k
3 votes
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How high can New Shepard fly?

Using the same methods and data from a previous answer of mine about New Shepard I simulated a vertical launch of just the booster and got a maximum altitude of ~150 km: (Personal Work) Launching ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
3 votes

Why do New Shepard's drogue chutes just "hang there" for ten seconds before deploying the main parachutes? What happens during that time?

What happens in that time is that the drogue parachutes slow the vehicle down from about 207 mph at deployment to 136 mph at main parachute deployment. You can see from the speed display that it doesn'...
djr's user avatar
  • 1,705
3 votes

Why do New Shepard's drogue chutes just "hang there" for ten seconds before deploying the main parachutes? What happens during that time?

I believe this is a controlled deceleration sequence. The capsule slows from 210-137 mph at .75g while the drogues are deployed, then down to 48 mph at 1.3g while the main cutes are half-deployed, ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.2k
2 votes

New Glenn/Shepard gimbal engine actuators: hydraulic or electric?

Partial answer: According to a parts supplier, New Shepard uses a hydraulic system. JASC designed and manufactured the Flight Control System Actuators and the engine Thrust Vector Control Actuators ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
2 votes
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What rocket would Blue Origin go to Moon with?

The National Team proposal comprised three separate vehicles, a Transfer Element provided by Northrop Grumman, a Descent Element provided by Blue Origin, and an Ascent Element provided by Lockheed ...
David Hammen's user avatar
2 votes

What are the pods on stage 1 of Blue Origin's New Glenn?

They are "strakes" aka fins. Large aerodynamic strakes on the aft end of the tanks give the returning first stage enhanced cross-range during descent and reentry. Source: New Glenn Payload ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
2 votes

Estimating weight of New Shepard with NS-10 launch data

New Shepard is a suborbital launcher: it can get into space, but it can't stay there. As discussed in this oft-linked What If, the major challenge of orbit isn't reaching space, but going fast enough ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
1 vote

How is New Shepard the first suborbital booster to successfully perform a powered vertical soft landing?

Even though New Shepard did not achieve orbit nor put anything in orbit (because it was not designed to do so) it did land after achieving a 100.5 km apogee suborbital trajectory which it makes it in ...
Gabriel Rodrigues's user avatar
1 vote
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Estimating weight of New Shepard with NS-10 launch data

Using the OP's numbers: average acceleration (between T+ 00:10 and T+ 00:15): 13.4 ft/s^2 thrust: 110,000 lb force g: 32 ft/s^2 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k

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