What is the New Shephard rocket system?

What is the News?

Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos’s space company named Blue Origin has concluded the online auction for the first seat on the New Shephard rocket system. It is a rocket system meant to take tourists to space.

About New Shephard Rocket System:
  • New Shephard is a reusable rocket system that has been designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.
  • Built by: The rocket system has been built by Blue Origin, space company of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
  • Named after: The rocket system has been named after astronaut Alan Shephard – the first American to go to space.
Significance of this New Shephard rocket system:
  • The idea behind New Shephard is to provide easier and more cost-effective access to space. This is meant for purposes such as academic research, corporate technology development and entrepreneurial ventures among others.
  • Moreover, apart from academic and research-oriented goals, the rocket will also allow space tourists to experience microgravity by taking them 100 km above the Earth.
    • Microgravity is the condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless. The effects of microgravity can be seen when astronauts and objects float in space.
What is the Karman Line?
  • The Karman line is the internationally recognized boundary of space.
  • The line is named after Theodore von Kármán, a Hungarian American engineer and physicist.
    • He was the first person to determine the altitude at which the atmosphere becomes too thin to support aeronautical flight.
  • The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale(FAI) defines the Kármán line as the altitude of 100 kilometres (62 miles) above Earth’s mean sea level.
    • FAI is an international standard-setting and record-keeping body for aeronautics and astronautics.
  • However, not all organizations recognize this definition. The US Air Force and NASA define the boundary as 50 miles (80 km) above sea level. But there is no International law that defines the edge of space or the limit of national airspace.

Source: Indian Express

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