Watch live as Blue Origin aims for a booster re-use record with rocket launch




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Blue Origin will be looking to launch one of its New Shepard sub-orbital spacecraft today - a second attempt after weather didn't cooperate yesterday. Conditions are looking much better at the company's West Texas launch site, so the Jeff Bezos-founded space venture is much more optimistic that today's launch will go off as planned. Currently, Blue Origin is aiming for 11:00 AM CST (12:00 PM EST/9 AM PST) for its launch.

This mission, codenamed NS-12 because it's the 12th flight of the New Shepard vehicle, will be the sixth re-use of the NS3 booster stage which provides the spacecraft's initial thrust to get it off the ground. That will be a record for commercial reusable spaceflight, and it's a key mission parameter, though the primary focus is still on delivering payloads for customers.

Those payloads include a range of different science experiments, as well as postcards submitted by kids around the world via the Blue Origin 'Club for the Future' non-profit. Bezos announced this new organization at the big Blue Origin lunar lander unveiling in May, and it's designed to provide educational materials around space exploration to schools, and the postcards project is its first big endeavor.

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