Blue Origin's New Shepard Just Became the First Successful Reusable Rocket

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 - 12:51PM
Technology
Science News
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 - 12:51PM
Blue Origin's New Shepard Just Became the First Successful Reusable Rocket
Move over, SpaceX, because Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin just achieved the first successful landing of a reusable rocket. Yesterday, the rocket launched a little over 100km into space, and then safely landed with all of its parts intact, moving us one step closer to easier and cheaper manned spaceflight.


SpaceX has been attempting to create a reusable rocket for some time now, and experienced two failed (but close) attempts to land their Falcon 9 rocket on a barge this year. Now, Blue Origin, a private aerospace company created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has succeeded in landing New Shepard back on Earth with both the capsule and propulsion unit surviving the journey. It landed on its planned landing pad, only 4.5 feet from the center from which it launched.

Opening quote
"Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts-a used rocket," Bezos said in a statement. "Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard space vehicle flew a flawless mission-soaring to 329,839 feet and then returning through 119-mph high-altitude crosswinds to make a gentle, controlled landing just four and a half feet from the center of the pad. Full reuse is a game changer, and we can't wait to fuel up and fly again."
Closing quote

New Shepard is capable of transporting up to six people just above Earth's atmosphere, although it will likely start with unmanned science missions at first. The rocket technology will reportedly be used by NASA in launching future probes to other planets, and has the potential to make manned journeys to other planets, such as Mars, much more feasible. If this technology continues to be successful, the cost and risks associated with rocket launches would be reduced considerably, which SpaceX terms "the key to making human life multi-planetary."

Via BBC.
Science
Space
Technology
Science News

Load Comments