Blue Origin: Have Payloads, But When Will It Fly?

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My friend Clark Lindsey at Hobby Space found this notice on the Blue Origin page:

Blue Origin has selected three unmanned research payloads to fly on the New Shepard suborbital vehicle as a part of Phase 1 of the New Shepard Research Flight Demonstration Program. These payloads were selected from an excellent field of submitted proposals.

The three investigations selected are:

  • Three-Dimensional Critical Wetting Experiment in Microgravity. The principal investigator of this effort is Dr. Stephen Collicott, of Purdue University.
  • Microgravity Experiment on Dust Environments in Astrophysics (MEDEA). The principal investigator of this effort is Dr. Joshua Colwell, of the University of Central Florida.
  • Effective lnterfacial Tension lnduced Convection (EITIC). The principal investigator of this effort is Dr. John Pojman, of Louisiana State University.

These flights are planned to begin in the coming years to demonstrate the integration and operation of scientific experiments into the New Shepard system.

More information on Blue Origin, the New Shepard program, and its research and education applications can be found at www.blueorigin.com. Further inquiries should be directed to Dr. Alan Stern, Blue Origin’s advisor for Research and Education Mission applications: astern@blueorigin.com.

The only question this doesn’t answer is when Jeff Bezos’ mysterious suborbital vehicle will fly.