Jeff Bezos’ private space company Blue Origin tested their new vehicle called New Shepherd. The test was aimed at bringing the space rocket safely back to land for reusing. Blue Origin’s New Shepherd reached an altitude of 100.5 kilometers before landing back safely to the West Texas launch site. Blue Origin stated that the space vehicle flew into space and returned successfully. The concept of reusing rockets could have several implications the most major being millions of dollars in reduction of costs and the most fascinating being commercial space travel.
Jeff Bezos is the CEO of Amazon and founder of Blue Origin. Blue Origin is a major competitor of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, another company testing reusable rockets. Another billionaire purusing the same dream of commercializing space travel is Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Galactic. Blue Origin aims to commercialize space travel. If successful, that would mean non-astronauts like myself and billions of other people could finally travel to space. New Shepherd used the first rocket that safely landed back to Earth. The vehicle is fitted with a crew capsule and a rocket booster using a BE-3 liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen engine which delivers 110,000N.
Reusable rockets are a major development in commercializing space travel because building a rocket takes time and money. If reusable rockets are a success, space travel could be increased by as must as two or three flights in a day compared to a one flight in a couple of months. It is the rocket that costs millions of dollars to build. If the rocket can be reused, it will almost be like a bus service. The only wait will be for the rocket to return to Earth and refuel. Blue Origins plan on continuing flight tests before beginning astronaut flights. If everything goes as planned, soon the world will be introduced to commercial space flights. In Blue Origins successful test, the crew capsule separated from the engine at a set altitude and glided into space. Later it descends and lands deploying three parachutes. The booster rocket returns via a guided flight. It hits the ground at about 4.4 mph, which is fairly slow.
Watch the video from Blue Origin below to see the amazing feat: