Corn Ranch

Summary

Corn Ranch
Corn Ranch Spaceport National Map view.png
Aerial view of Corn Ranch
LocationVan Horn, Texas
Coordinates31°25′24″N 104°45′32″W / 31.42333°N 104.75889°W / 31.42333; -104.75889Coordinates: 31°25′24″N 104°45′32″W / 31.42333°N 104.75889°W / 31.42333; -104.75889
OperatorBlue Origin
Launch history
StatusActive
Launches21
First launch13 November 2006
Goddard
Last launch13 October 2021
New Shepard
Associated
rockets
Goddard (retired)
New Shepard (active)
Landing history
StatusActive
Landings20
First landing13 November 2006
Goddard
Last landing13 October 2021
New Shepard
Associated
rockets
Goddard (retired)
New Shepard (active)

Corn Ranch, or Launch Site One, is a spaceport in the West Texas town of Van Horn, Texas. The 670-square-kilometer (165,000-acre) land parcel was purchased by Internet billionaire Jeff Bezos. Current launch license and experimental permits from the US government Federal Aviation Administration authorize flights of New Shepard rockets.[1] The first flight test took place on November 13, 2006 with the goal of providing commercial tourist flights.[2] Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight launched at Corn Ranch on July 20, 2021. The flight, dubbed NS-16, carried founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, test pilot and Mercury 13 member Wally Funk, and Dutchman Oliver Daemen on a suborbital flight aboard New Shepard 4.

As of May 2015, Blue Origin has a staff of approximately 50 supporting the West Texas facility.[3]

The launch pad is located at 31°25′23″N 104°45′26″W / 31.422927°N 104.757152°W / 31.422927; -104.757152, about 2.9 km (1.8 mi) north of the check-out building. The landing pad is located at 31°27′06″N 104°45′46″W / 31.4517°N 104.7628°W / 31.4517; -104.7628, about 6.1 km (3.8 mi) north of a check-out building and 3.2 km (2 mi) north of the launch pad.

In addition to the suborbital launch pads, the West Texas site includes a number of rocket engine test stands. Engine test cells to support both hydrolox, methalox and storable propellant engines are present.

Included are three test cells just for testing the methalox BE-4 engine alone: two full test cells that can support full-thrust and full-duration burns, as well as one that supports short-duration, high-pressure preburner tests, to "refine the ignition sequence and understand the start transients."[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the Blue Origin West Texas Launch Site (Report). Federal Aviation Administration. February 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Space Dreams Boost Tiny Town". MSNBC.
  3. ^ "Local engineers aim high for cheaper spaceflight". Seattle Times. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  4. ^ "BE-4 Engine Testing Update From Jeff Bezos – Parabolic Arc". Parabolic Arc.

External links

  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Corn Ranch (locale)