Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket Carries Two APL Experiments for Suborbital Detection, Tracking

New Shepard
New Shepard

Blue Origin's New Shepard vehicle has launched two Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory experiments as part of an effort to assess the capacity of commercial technologies for suborbital tracking.

Last week, New Shepard carried the Integrated Remote Imaging System and the JHU APL Integrated Universal Suborbital Integration Platform from Blue Origin's site in Texas before the two experiments underwent retrieval operations along with 10 payloads during the 10-minute excursion, APL said Friday.

The JANUS crew capsule contains sensors designed to collect data on electromagnetic fields as it traverses the suborbital region 60 miles above the planet.

The platform also contains a GPS receiver built to integrate with the New Shepard rocket's antenna to transmit real-time information on atmospheric measurements, payload position and velocity.

IRIS is comprised of an ultraviolet/visible spectrometer and three visible-near-infrared cameras intended to monitor the atmosphere and test the intelligent Space TArget Recognition and Tracking technology.

APL will continue data analysis for the JANUS and IRIS experiments over the coming months.

Both experiments receive funding through the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate's Flight Opportunities program.

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