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Blue Origin is launching New Shepard after 7 months

Photo: Blue Origin

Blue Origin is targeting a launch of their Suborbital launch vehicle named New Shepard, from West Texas at 8:30am CST (9:30am EST). They are currently watching the weather conditions as they are not as good as they would like them to be, but they’re watching the forecasts to ensure a successful launch.

This is the 6th time this New Shepard booster has flown a mission after successfully landing and being recovered from the last 5 missions it flew on. This is the most flights a New Shepard booster has flown in a row, with minimal refurbishments before flights. This is also the 9th commercial payload for Blue Origin and this flight includes their 100th customer.

On board are 4 various payloads from Club for the Future, the rock band “OK Go”, Columbia University, and OSCAR, a recycling technology payload from NASA.

Thousands of postcards from students from the Club for the Future nonprofit are on New Shepard for tomorrow’s flight, meant to inspire future kids to go for a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field.

OK Go is sending two winning art projects from a contest they held earlier in the year called “Art in Space”. This gave Middle and High Schoolers a chance to create something that is being flown into space on the NS-12 mission.

Columbia University is sending one of their educational payloads into space on New Shepard. Built by undergrad students, this payload will study the impacts of Cell Biology microgravity experiments, which is important for humans living and working in space.

Lastly, the OSCAR experiment is being included in the NS-12 mission by NASA to study a new mixture of gasses that can be used from propulsion or life support from waste on deep space missions. This is the first “Full Stack Payload”, which means there’s more space to conduct experiments in the capsule while in microgravity.

The live launch can be viewed on Blue Origin’s website about 30 minutes before launch.