Blue Origin Launches and Lands First Reusable Tourist Rocket
A world’s first for rocket technology occurred this week. Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ (Amazon.com’s CEO) commercial rocket tourism company, just completed its first successful test launching and landing its New Shepard rocket after a 100 km flight into the atmosphere. A brilliant three-minute video was just uploaded onto Blue Origin’s YouTube documenting the entire feat. The rocket launch occurred in West Texas on Monday.
The video accounts for the rocket’s ignition, flight, and landing. It also includes a simulation of the space capsule offering tourists a view of space and the curvature of the earth from 100.5 km, or 329,839 ft. As the space capsule parachutes back safely, much like SpaceX‘s Grasshopper rocket, New Shepard returns to earth with the help of thrusters, which assist in slowing the rocket’s fall and correcting trajectory so it lands gently, flatly back onto earth.
The rarest of beasts – a used rocket. Controlled landing not easy, but done right, can look easy. Check out video: https://t.co/9OypFoxZk3
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 24, 2015
The reusable capsule flew at mach 4 and both the capsule and rocket were recovered safely. Jeff Bezos announced the success on Twitter and has told press that the company will fly humans when it’s ready and likely by 2017.