Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin makes history

25 Nov

Yesterday, November 23, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin did sometime that no other privately held space company has been able to accomplish. They were able to bring their New Shepard rocket back to Earth after traveling into outer space. This means that now they will be able to re-use the New Shepard rocket to reduce the cost of future flights.

Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts — a used rocket,” Bezos said in a statement. “Full reuse is a game changer, and we can’t wait to fuel up and fly again.”

This is not the first time that Blue Origin attempted to bring their rocket back to Earth. The first time was in April of this year when they launched their New Shepard craft into space. After that flight they were able to bring the capsule back safely but where unable to bring the rocket down due to a hydraulic problems. After the failure the engineer re-designed the hydraulic system.

Jeff Bezos’ dream for Blue Origin is for the company to eventually carry tourist in orbit of the Earth. With the success of this test the company is one step closer to accomplishing that goal. There will probably be more test flights to come before the company is finally ready for those tourist flights.

It is, however, important to clear up the difference between “space” and “orbit”, as described well by https://what-if.xkcd.com/58/ ,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote in a tweet. In an earlier tweet Mr. Musk did also congratulate Mr. Bezos on his accomplishment, “Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL on their booster”.

Eventually, the New Shepard spacecraft will be able to carry six tourist into a sub-orbit around the Earth. With this goal in mind the New Shepard capsule is made with extra large windows that are equipped with multiple layers of a fracture-tough transparent material that will allow 92% of the visible light shine through.

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