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The vehicle headed back into the barn
BlogJan 2, 2007

Flight Test - Goddard Low Altitude Mission

Accomplishing this mission will take a long time, and we’re working on it methodically. We believe in incremental improvement and in keeping investments at a pace that’s sustainable. Slow and steady is the way to achieve results, and we do not kid ourselves into thinking this will get easier as we go along. Smaller, more frequent steps drive a faster rate of learning, help us maintain focus, and give each of us an opportunity to see our latest work fly sooner.

Our first objective is developing New Shepard, a vertical take-off, vertical-landing vehicle designed to take a small number of astronauts on a sub-orbital journey into space. On the morning of November 13, 2006, we launched and landed Goddard - a first development vehicle in the New Shepard program. The launch was both useful and fun. Many friends and family came to watch the launch and support the team.

As an aside, all the images and videos on this website are served by Amazon’s Simple Storage Service. S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve data from anywhere on the web. It gives any software developer access to the same scalable data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own websites. If you’re interested, you can learn more at (Yes, that was a brief sales pitch for Amazon Web Services, and now I return you to rockets.)

As I said above, Blue Origin is actively hiring. We are particularly looking for experienced propulsion engineers and experienced turbomachinery engineers, as well as a senior leader to head our turbopump group. Folks with turbopump or propulsion experience on large, modern, cryogenic engines such as the RS-68 are of particular interest.

Another high priority for us is an experienced leader for our structures team. Structures experience on large, modern vehicles such as Delta IV or Atlas V is of particular interest.

We are searching to fill other positions as well. Please check out our careers page on this website. Feel free to send a note and resume to our head of recruiting, Walt McCleery at [email protected].

I cannot say enough about the team we already have. They are hard working and ingenious and experienced. It’s a sincere pleasure for me to witness, and I’m grateful to them.

Gradatim Ferociter!
Jeff Bezos

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The vehicle coming out of the ‘barn’ in the wee hours of the morning
Chuck wagon food. Open fire biscuits…need I say more?
My only job at the launch was to open the champagne…
We brought a jumbotron so our spectators could have a better view
And now the kids think that their engineer parents are pretty cool
Just before launch as the sun is rising
The vehicle headed back into the barn

Flight Test - Goddard Low-Altitude Mission - Gear

This on-board video shows a landing gear and a thruster.

Flight Test - Goddard Low-Altitude Mission - Pad

On-board video pointed straight down at the pad

Flight Test - Goddard Low-Altitude Mission - Horizon View

On-board video pointed at the horizon

Flight Test - Goddard Low-Altitude Mission - Wide Angle

Low frame rate but high resolution fisheye video of the launch (no sound)

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