Blue Origin teams with NASA and tests its space vehicle

May 1, 2012
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Blue Origin teams with NASA and tests its space vehicle

There are several companies deeply involved in attempts to privatize the space industry in cooperation with NASA. The firm most of us know the best would be SpaceX with its Dragon capsule that is set to travel to the ISS. There are other companies working hard on reusable spacecraft for both tourism and to help NASA shoot cargo and astronauts into space.

Blue Origin has been in Lockheed Martin's wind tunnel testing out its orbital space vehicle. The company is designing an orbital space capsule that is reusable, and would launch vertically and then be able to land with some controllability. Some of the other capsules will simply use parachutes to float into the ocean where they will be retrieved.

Blue Origin is working on a design that has flaps on the back of the spacecraft that would allow some maneuverability coming back through Earth's atmosphere. The company admits that over 180 tests have been conducted in the wind tunnel facility to determine the exact placement of aerodynamic flaps on the spacecraft. The company says the flaps will give their space vehicle maneuverability without having to add wheels and wings. These flaps would allow the spacecraft to be flown over a specific landmass when possible to make retrieval quicker and easier.

[via MSNBC]


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