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Blue Origin Lose Unmanned Spaceship In Test Flight

Blue Origin funded by Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com lose their unmanned spaceship in its test flight last week.

Blue Origin funded by Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com lose their unmanned spaceship in its test flight last weekLast week an unmanned spaceship developed by Blue Origin LLC was launched in a test flight in West Texas, but the vehicle had problems at an altitude of 45,000 feet, and had to be put down.

Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com set up Blue Origin which is a privately funded aerospace company, and in 2009 the company was awarded $3.7 million in funding by NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, under the Commercial Crew development, CCD, program, for the development of the technology needed to support space flight for humans. Then in April of this year, Blue Origin received more funding from NASA to the tune of $22 million as part of the CCDev phase 2 program.

With the end of the United States Space Shuttle program after it completed its 30 year program, and the recent crash of the Russian Progress supply spacecraft, this is another blow to the  success of space programs. The International Space Station is still manned by astronaut, although this may have to change if reliable space vehicles cannot be built.

Bezos had this to say about the failure. “A flight instability drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle. Not the outcome any of us wanted, but we’re signed up for this to be hard, and the Blue Origin team is doing an outstanding job. We’re already working on our next development vehicle.”

No doubt the Blue Origin development team will learn from this test, and there is already a new spacecraft under development at Blue Origin, Bezos reported.

There are other companies receiving funding towards the development  of spacecraft, including Boeing, Space Exploration Technologies, Space Adventures and United Launch Alliance, as well as Virgin Galactic which is reported to be in the private space industry, but did not receive funding from NASA.

 

 

 

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Eric is an unashamed techno-geek (with an odd love of the outdoors) and one of the few people who can start a conversation in a roomful of similarly inclined techies and end up being the focal point for a crowd ... he also has the benefit of being able to speak and write in ways that are understandable to normal humans.

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