Dongs In Space: Blue Origin Successfully Launch And Land Their Reusable Space Rocket

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' aerospace company Blue Origin successfully launched and landed a reusable space rocket called New Shepard. Space rockets are historically expendable but this could pave the way for a future where they become reusable (even if it does look a little phallic).

The test took place at Blue Origin's West Texas launch site and means it has become the first rocket to launch and land intact after takeoff. It traveled to 329,839 feet before landing safely back at the launch site.

It was also a middle digit to Elon Musk whose company SpaceX is also looking to create a reusable rocket, the Falcon 9, but has failed to land it successfully.

Bezos took to twitter to gloat.

Musk hit back with the following tweet:

Musk did, however, congratulate Bezos, and then proceeded to pick apart whether New Shepard had got to space or just orbit.

Regardless of these two billionaires quibbling over flying phalluses, it was still a remarkable achievement.

Jeff Bezos described how the tech works to achieve the soft landing, which is obviously the hard part, on the Blue Origin website:

This flight validates our vehicle architecture and design. Our unique ring fin shifted the center of pressure aft to help control reentry and descent; eight large drag brakes deployed and reduced the vehicle’s terminal speed to 387 mph; hydraulically actuated fins steered the vehicle through 119-mph high-altitude crosswinds to a location precisely aligned with and 5,000 feet above the landing pad; then the highly-throttleable BE-3 engine re-ignited to slow the booster as the landing gear deployed and the vehicle descended the last 100 feet at 4.4 mph to touchdown on the pad.

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. We are pursuing this vision patiently, step-by-step. Our fantastic team in Kent, Van Horn and Cape Canaveral is working hard not just to build space vehicles, but to bring closer the day when millions of people can live and work in space.


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