Video: Historic rocket landing
Jeff Bezos is at it again. The Amazon founder just announced that his rocket company, Blue Origin, yesterday launched an uncrewed rocket to the edge of space before safely landing it back on Earth.
“Rockets have always been expendable. Not anymore. Now safely tucked away at our launch site in west Texas is the rarest of beasts, a used rocket,” said Bezos.
The firm’s New Shepard capsule and launch vehicle reached an altitude of about 100 kilometres before separating. The capsule deployed its parachutes and drifted to the ground, while the rocket used controlled firings to descend before deploying its landing legs for a triumphant return.
It’s the second surprise test of Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule and launch vehicle this year,. A loss of hydraulic pressure meant Blue Origin couldn’t recover the rocket for that flight.
Battle for space
This latest success puts the firm in direct competition with SpaceX, which has conducted successful ground landings from an altitude of 1 kilometre and is now attempting to land its Falcon 9 rocket on barges in the sea once they have
Reusable rockets should bring down the cost of space flight, opening up new opportunities. Blue Origin has so far launched its capsules without a crew, but in a video of the launch (above) the firm shows a simulation of what paying passengers may one day enjoy.
The vehicle can carry six people who will enjoy four minutes of weightlessness and view of Earth from space. “We are building Blue Origin to seed an enduring human presence in space, to help us move beyond this blue planet that is the origin of all we know,” said Bezos.
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