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Blue Origin Rocket to Launch Tech Demo Payloads Under NASA

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Safe and Precise
Safe and Precise Landing Integrated Capabilities Evolution

A reusable launch vehicle made by Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' space company, will carry six payloads from NASA, universities and commercial entities for space demonstrations.

The 17th New Shepard mission will launch on Thursday from a Blue Origin site located in West Texas, under NASA's Flight Opportunities program, the space agency said Wednesday.

The payloads will demonstrate precision landing technologies, propellant gauging, space-based trash recycling, suborbital biological imaging and other space applications.

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate provided one of the payloads developed as part of the Safe and Precise Landing Integrated Capabilities Evolution (SPLICE) project.

The SPLICE payload is a navigation system designed the determine the precise landing location as a spacecraft approaches a planetary surface. The system uses various sensors, lasers and a high-performance computer to perform navigation.