Today a new history is going to be made in space. New dimensions of space tourism are opening up. Because on Tuesday, July 20, at around 6.30 pm, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will go on a journey to space. This launching will be fully automatic. Jeff will complete this journey in a New Shepherd capsule in 11 minutes. Three more passengers are also going with them. This launch has been deliberately kept on July 20 because Apollo 11 landed on the moon on the same day. This is the 52nd anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11.
Jeff will be accompanied by his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old former NASA astronaut Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver in the New Shepard capsule. New Shepherd Capsule is fully automatic. It can travel to space by carrying 6 passengers inside it. It will be launched from West Texas at around 6.30 pm on Tuesday. After launch, it will go up to a height of 110 km. The rocket will already detach from the capsule and land back safely. Whereas, the capsule will go down to the limits of space for a few minutes and land back with the help of a parachute.
The New Shepherd rocket and capsule are named after 1961 Astronaut Alan Shepherd. Alan Shepherd was the first American citizen to reach space. The New Shepherd capsule will not have a pilot, as the vehicle is fully automatic. Its control is done from the master control center built on the ground. But after launch, there will be no need to give any kind of command in it. The capsule is designed for 6 astronauts but currently only 4 people are going in it.
In 2 minutes after launch, the New Shepherd rocket will move towards space at 3 times the speed of sound. That is, this rocket will rise above the speed of 1029 meters per second. Meaning it will go towards space at a speed of 3704 kilometers per hour. After a minute, the booster ie the rocket will separate from its capsule. The capsule will reach a height where there will be no gravity. Here the four astronauts will feel zero gravity.
After spending a few minutes in space, the New Shepard capsule will return to Earth after about 9 minutes. At that time parachutes will be opened to reduce its speed rapidly. At that time the speed will be 26 km per hour. But after the parachute is opened, this speed will reduce to 1.6 km. At this slow speed, the capsule will land on the ground. Questions are being raised continuously about this landing and takeoff. Because this is happening for the first time that a space mission is being fully automated.
The questions are arising whether Jeff Bezos will be safe in this journey? Because this is happening for the first time that the rocket and capsule are fully automatic. After giving the launch command to the person sitting in it or the master control center, nothing has to be done. Will this fully automatic launching be successful? Space experts around the world believe that Jeff Bezos will be safe in his company Blue Origin’s rocket and capsule New Shepard. But Jeff himself is also a little scared about it. which they are not showing. Because before this no rocket in space has been launched on fully automatic mode, nor has any capsule made passengers travel in this mode to space.
Joseph Fragola, CEO of the Asti Group and systems engineer for NASA for decades, has calculated the risks associated with the launch of Blue Origin. He told that launching into space has always been more dangerous than ever. The risk of any launch is linked to the experience of the company doing it. How many launches have this company done? What kind of rocket engine are you using? Blue Origin is going to launch for the first time, which no one has done till date.
Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin company has taken 15 trial flights of The New Shepard. Out of all these flights, only one flight was partially messed up. In which the passenger capsule landed safely, but the rocket booster crashed. In all these tests, no human was sitting inside the capsule. It was completely unmanned flight. Joseph Fragola said that it is a very positive aspect that their flights have been successful.
Electrical engineer Blake Putney, who worked for NASA, said that The New Shepard is not going to orbit the Earth. He will return only by going to the door of space. It has a very powerful but simple engine. According to Blue Origin, New Shepherd’s BE-3 engine will generate 50,000 kg of thrust at launch. This is many times less than any NASA Space Shuttle booster. According to NASA, its rocket boosters generate 5.44 lakh kilograms of thrust at launch.
Blake Putney says that the risk of any space flight is seen by how powerful and complex your rocket engine is. How long will it take to fail? The Space Shuttle engines were no less than a devil in this matter. They keep running for a long time, because they used to take passengers into space. When the calculations were done after the Challenger accident of 1986, it was said that there is a risk of failure once in 120. Whereas the Space Shuttle program lasted for 30 years and during this 135 launches were made. There were only two accidents in this entire time.
Blake and Joseph said together that Blue Origin has employed experienced engineers, so the risk is low. This risk is only once in a ratio of 1000. Because the engineers working here are capable of doing very complex launches. Astronauts understand such dangers, but the common man is not aware of these dangers, so he gets scared. Joseph Fragola said that it would be foolish to compare it with American aircraft. Because there there is a danger of one accident in 1 crore flights. Joseph Fragola said that looking at Blue Origin’s experience so far, if we calculate the risk, it ranges from 1 accident in 100 flights to 1 accident in 500 flights. The most appropriate answer to this would be the possibility of an accident in 200 flights. That is, Jeff Bezos will fly safely, but it is impossible to say anything about what will happen in space travel.
The New Shepard capsule is set far away from the rocket engine. In this, there is a complete technique to isolate in the possibility of disaster or accident. Therefore, the safety of the people sitting in this capsule can be guaranteed. If we look at the abort procedure, the chances of survival of the people sitting in the capsule are more than 80 percent. That’s why Joseph Fragola said that there is no possibility of any kind of accident with Jeff Bezos and his fellow astronauts in this journey. This probability is equal to 1 in 1000.
According to the National Safety Council, the chance of having an accident once in 1000 is the same as drowning once in an American’s lifetime. Blake Putney said that the second biggest reason for the accident could be a malfunction of the parachute system. If it does not open or if there is a strong wind, then landing with the help of parachute can be very difficult. This can injure or seriously injure the people inside.
Blake says that the good thing is that The New Shepard’s flight is very short. Therefore, the operators flying it can get an accurate idea of the weather. So there is nothing to worry about. If the weather is good then the parachute system will work properly. There will be no problem in landing. This danger is exactly the same as in 2012, Australia’s Dare Devil Felix Baumgortner made a safe jump from a height of 1.20 lakh feet, that is, from space. However, the danger was as much in it as it is in the flight of Blue Origin this time.
Joseph Fragola said that the probability of today’s rocket launch failure is the same as that of aircraft flights that started in the 1930s. At that time Douglas DC-3 passenger planes were failing in flight. At that time, the rate of their accidents was the same as the powerful and best rockets of today’s time. But despite this, people at that time preferred to fly in planes. After sitting in the rocket today, we are going to the same era as it was during the time of DC-3.