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article imageBlue Origin to launch and land reusable spacecraft Wednesday

By Karen Graham     Dec 10, 2019 in Technology
Blue Origin says it’s now targeting Wednesday for the next uncrewed flight test of its New Shepard suborbital spaceship, with a cargo manifest that should warm kids’ hearts for the holidays.
Blue Origin, the private spaceflight company founded by billionaire and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, originally planned to launch the New Shepard spacecraft today from the company’s West Texas launch facility.
However, due to poor weather conditions, the launch was scrubbed and rescheduled for Wednesday, December 11 at 9:00 am CST / 15:00 UTC. Blue Origin will continue to monitor weather conditions and will post an update at T-2 hours.
The NS-12 mission will be carrying two student-built art projects, and some science experiments, along with thousands of postcards from kids that have been gathered through its educational program, known as the Club for the Future, according to Geek Wire.
Perfect landing of New Shepard booster on Thursday  May 2  2019. (Screen grab from Blue Origin video...
Perfect landing of New Shepard booster on Thursday, May 2, 2019. (Screen grab from Blue Origin video.
Blue Origin
Club for the Future
On May 9, Jeff Bezos announced Blue Origin had created a new program called the Club for the Future to inspire today's youth to think about their future in space. Bezos announced the space club's first activity - to send students' postcards on a suborbital flight aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket and spacecraft and return them to Earth.
The 10,000 stamped postcards will have student's visions for humanity beyond Earth. "One of the things we have to do is inspire the future generations," said Bezos during a press event where he also unveiled his own far-reaching vision for space settlement, including Blue Origin's Blue Moon lunar lander.
"So today, I am announcing that Blue Origin is founding the Club for the Future, whose mission is to inspire young people to build the future of life in space. We're going to do a series of activities focused on K through 12 and the first one I love," said Bezos, referring to the postcards.
Club for the Future
Milestone will be reached
It's Blue Origin's turn to bask in the spotlight and for several notable reasons. Tomorrow's NS-12 mission will mark Blue Origin's twelfth New Shepard launch and - check this out - the sixth time the same New Shepard booster will be used.
Space,com is reporting that the vehicle made its first flight in December 2017, with two more in 2018 and two more flights this year in January and May. The NS-12 mission will mark Blue Origin’s 100th commercial payload to space and back and New Shepard's ninth commercial mission.
Tomorrow's mission will also include a number of NASA science experiments. They include:
* A NASA "space plant" experiment to study gene expression in microgravity;
* OSCAR: A NASA recycling technology test to turn trash into water and gases like hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane;
* An experiment by Columbia University students in New York City to study the effects of microgravity on cell biology;
* Two winning art projects from the Art in Space contest with rock back OK Go, which partnered with Blue Origin in the contest for middle school and high school students.
More about blue origins, New Shepard, suborbital flight, NS12 mission, reusable booster
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