On 18 August, the Elon Musk-owned SpaceX company pushed the boundaries for rocket recycling further after landing the booster of its Falcon 9 craft for the sixth time, matching Blue Origin’s world record for reusing its New Shepard rocket.
Jeff Bezos’ private spaceflight company Blue Origin is expected to launch its reusable suborbital New Shepard rocket booster in a new mission on Thursday, which will mark the seventh time the same craft has been sent into space – a world record for rocket reuse.
New Shepard’s upcoming mission, dubbed NS-13 – the company’s 13th mission to space, is set to fly 12 commercial payloads, including a NASA landing sensor demonstration.
Alongside the payloads, Blue Origin said that the NS-13 flight will carry “tens of thousands of postcards from students around the world” created for the company’s nonprofit Club for the Future.
The launch will take place Thursday, 24 September, at 10:00 am CDT/15:00 UTC.
If launch and landing of the NS-13 is successful, Blue Origin will surpass rival SpaceX in reusing a single rocket, as the latter has reached Blue Origin’s record after a Falcon 9 completed its sixth flight to space on 18 August.
The New Shepard, initially designed for space tourism, conducted its sixth mission in December 2019, carrying a number of NASA-sponsored science experiments to suborbital space.