On Nov. 23, the New Shepard space vehicle, designed by Blue Origin, completed a historic rocket landing, successfully flying to space before landing back at the West Texas launch site. A K2 Energy battery, designed and built in Henderson, Nev., helped power critical functions of the rocket. This mission and Blue Origin’s amazing achievement marks the first time a rocket booster has flown to space and returned for a vertical landing on Earth.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard was designed to be a fully reusable space vehicle, employing vertical takeoff and vertical landing procedures. A capsule atop the New Shepard booster is designed to take six crew members more than 60 miles above Earth, beyond the internationally recognized edge of space. After flight and landing, the capsule and booster are ready to be used again for another flight.
K2 Energy created a custom battery to power the rocket’s avionic system and hydraulic pump, which are used to steer the rocket as it goes into space and back to Earth. “Our battery used in New Shepard vehicle was mission critical,” said Dave Gurtner, senior electrical engineer for K2 Energy. “The battery is the heart of the rocket’s power system. Without it, the rocket could not operate.”
Blue Origin chose the K2 Energy battery system for its power capabilities, but also considered its safety features equally vital to the mission’s success. K2 Energy’s batteries are dependable, powerful and employ proprietary materials and designs so that they do not experience thermal runaway, making them safe and reliable. “Unlike some traditional lithium-ion batteries, our products withstand extreme conditions and can even take bullets without igniting,” said Gurtner, “and the safety our product offers is absolutely necessary to protect huge investments in modern day aeronautics.”
“We are incredibly excited to have our product used in New Shepard’s historic flight,” said Gurtner. “We are proud to create and manufacture top quality battery systems that power the newest, most innovative technologies and support the companies that create these technologies. This flight’s success represents our mission and the passion we employ in creating our products for use in groundbreaking technologies that shape our future.”
For more information and to watch the New Shepard’s historic flight, visit www.blueorigin.com.
K2 Energy was founded in the growing technology hub of Henderson, Nevada in 2006, and is a leading developer and producer of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, which are used in many advanced medical and military applications and for powering electric vehicles. The company produces energy battery cells and power battery cells, which have a multitude of consumer, product, safety, and environmental benefits compared to traditional lead acid batteries. K2 has received multiple awards recognizing it’s business and technical achievements—including Small Business Administration-Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. For more information, visit www.k2battery.com