The interior of the New Shepard crew capsule featuring some of the largest windows flown in space.
News | Jan 13, 2021

Mission NS-14 successfully demonstrates crew capsule upgrades

NS-14 January 14

Blue Origin successfully completed its 14th mission to space and back today for the New Shepard program.

The crew capsule descends under its three main blue and orange main parachutes; the capsule looks tiny against the vastness of the desert and mountains in the background.

Mission NS-14 featured a crew capsule outfitted with astronaut experience upgrades for upcoming flights with passengers onboard. Capsule upgrades included:

  • Speakers in the cabin with a microphone and a push-to-talk button at each seat so astronauts can continuously talk to Mission Control. 

  • First flight of the crew alert system with a panel at each seat relaying important safety messages to passengers. 

  • Cushioned wall linings and sound suppression devices to reduce ambient noise inside the capsule.  

  • Environmental systems, including a cooling system and humidity controls to regulate temperature and prevent capsule windows from fogging during flight, as well as carbon dioxide scrubbing. 

  • Six seats. 

Also today during ascent, the booster rotated at 2-3 degrees per second. This is done to give future passengers a 360-degree view of space during the flight.

This flight continued to prove the robustness and stability of the New Shepard system and the BE-3PM liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.

Also onboard today were more than 50,000 postcards from Blue Origin’s nonprofit Club for the Future. The Club has now flown over 100,000 postcards to space and back from students around the world. More information here.

Watch the full mission replay below.

Key Mission Stats

  • 15th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in program, including pad escape test in 2012). 

  • The crew capsule reached an apogee of 347,568 ft above ground level (AGL) / 351,215 ft mean sea level (MSL) (105 km AGL/107 km MSL).

  • The booster reached an apogee of 347,211 ft AGL / 350,858 ft MSL (105 km AGL/ 106 km MSL).

  • The mission elapsed time was 10 min 10 sec and the max ascent velocity was 2,242 mph / 3,609 km/h.

All mission crew supporting this launch exercised strict social distancing and safety measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks to personnel, customers, and surrounding communities.

If you’d like to purchase a commemorative patch from today’s mission, head to the Blue Origin Shop.

—Gradatim Ferociter

8:38 CST / 14:38 UTC – January 14 

We are now targeting 10:57 AM CST / 16:57 UTC for liftoff at Launch Site One in West Texas. Watch the webcast here.

New Shepard NS-14: Astronaut Experience Upgrades 

Blue Origin’s next New Shepard flight is targeting liftoff tomorrow, January 14, at 9:45 AM CST / 15:45 UTC from Launch Site One in West Texas. Mission NS-14 is the 14th flight for the New Shepard program.

For this mission, the crew capsule will be outfitted with upgrades for the astronaut experience as the program nears human space flight. The upgrades include improvements to environmental features such as acoustics and temperature regulation inside the capsule, crew display panels, and speakers with a microphone and push-to-talk button at each seat. The mission will also test a number of astronaut communication and safety alert systems. The capsule will be outfitted with six seats, including one occupied by Mannequin Skywalker.

Also inside the capsule, Blue Origin’s nonprofit Club for the Future will fly more than 50,000 postcards to space and back from students around the globe. A selection of postcards will fly in Mannequin Skywalker’s pockets. This is the third batch of Club for the Future postcards flown to space. To participate in the postcard program, go here.

All mission crew supporting this launch are exercising strict social distancing and safety measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks to personnel, customers, and surrounding communities.

Launch coverage begins at T-30 minutes on Follow @BlueOrigin on Twitter for launch updates.

 —Gradatim Ferociter