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UCF Experiment First To Fly On Blue Origin

New Shepard launches from West Texas. Photo: Blue Origin

On board the Blue Origin rocket launched from West Texas on Saturday was an experiment created by University of Central Florida scientists studying how planets form.

The sub-orbital capsule experiences a few moments of weightlessness after launch. The UCF-born experiment shoots a ball at a container of dust to see how the particles react in a low-gravity environment.

The principle investigator, Josh Colwell, hopes the findings help understand how planets and planetary rings form.

The Blue Origin rocket, called New Shepard, launched and landed from West Texas. It is the third time this booster has flown. The company hopes rocket re-usability will decrease the cost of launches.

SpaceX succeeded in safely landing a booster last year.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »