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Jason DavisJune 20, 2016

Multimedia roundup: Blue Origin completes two-parachute test flight

Yesterday in West Texas, Blue Origin launched its New Shepard spacecraft on its sixth suborbital test flight. The capsule normally descends using three parachutes, but on Sunday, just two were used to show the spacecraft could still land safely in the event of a parachute mishap.

It was also the fourth flight of the company's reusable booster rocket, which lands upright after blasting New Shepard to the edge of space. Both the booster and capsule performed well, judging from video commentary as well as tweets from Blue Origin and the company's founder, Jeff Bezos.

For the first time, Blue Origin provided a live webcast of the flight. Yesterday was Father's Day here in the United States, and on Twitter, Bezos tried to entice Dads to tune in with their kids to watch the flight. (It was a good idea, but personally, I passed on the offer.)

If you're looking for a full news recap, check out the usual great specialty space coverage by outlets like Spaceflight Now, SpaceNews and NASASpaceflight.com. Also, there are nice takes by MashableThe Verge (GIFs galore!) and GeekWire

Here's a pretty picture and video roundup. You can watch Blue Origin's full, 50-minute webcast replay here, or just watch this highlight reel:

Blue Origin

Blue Origin one chute out test highlights

Blue Origin also released three high-resolution photographs:

Blue Origin reusable booster flight four, liftoff

Blue Origin

Blue Origin reusable booster flight four, liftoff
Blue Origin's reusable booster launches for the fourth time on June 19, 2016.
Blue Origin reusable booster flight four, landing

Blue Origin

Blue Origin reusable booster flight four, landing
Blue Origin's reusable booster lands for the fourth time on June 19, 2016.
Blue Origin reusable booster flight four, capsule landing

Blue Origin

Blue Origin reusable booster flight four, capsule landing
Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule floats toward the West Texas desert floor for its sixth landing on June 19, 2016. One of the capsule's three parachutes was left intentionally undeployed to demonstrate safety and redundancy requirements.

Here's another high-res shot from Twitter:

Reusable booster back in the barn

Blue Origin via Twitter

Reusable booster back in the barn
Blue Origin's reusable booster launches moves back in to its hangar following its fourth flight on June 19, 2016.

And finally, what launch is complete without Gradatim Ferociter (Latin for step by step, ferociously—the company's motto) cowboy boots? 

Careful engineering plus of course … the lucky boots. Successful mission. #RocketsReused #GradatimFerociter pic.twitter.com/ON5lhfGPSK

— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 19, 2016

Read more: commercial spaceflight, pretty pictures

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Jason Davis

Journalist and Digital Editor for The Planetary Society
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