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SpaceX rival Blue Origin, led by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, successfully lands reusable rocket

By Shawn Knight
Nov 24, 2015
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  1. We’ve heard so much about SpaceX’s failed Falcon 9 rocket landings – not to mention the explosion mid-flight on the way to the International Space Station in June – that it’s easy to forget that they’re not the only game in town.

    Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, for example, runs his own privately-funded aerospace outfit by the name of Blue Origin. His company recently succeeded in the very area that Elon Musk’s SpaceX has struggled so much with – safely landing a spent rocket.

    Blue Origin on Tuesday said its New Shepard flew a test mission to an altitude of 330,000 – reaching nearly four times the speed of sound in the process – before both the rocket and its unmanned capsule returned for a safe landing.

    As The Wall Street Journal notes, the rocket landed just four feet from where it took off at in West Texas. It let gravity take over until about 5,000 feet when the engine reignited to help with the landing. It touched down in an upright position traveling at a speed of 4.4 miles per hour – about the average walking speed.

    Companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX are in a race to create the first reusable commercial rocket. Such a luxury would drastically reduce the cost of space travel, thus making it more financially feasible to fund resupply missions to the ISS, launch satellites and create a commercial space tourism business.

    Image courtesy Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,660   +767

    Rock on! Been waiting for their successful landing and it's finally happened .... now about that ticket cost ...... :)
     
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,548   +2,894

    Has anyone seen the Youtube clip of Elon Musk crying? lol
     
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,148   +1,421

    First time could always be a fluke. They will have to prove a consistent record of successful landings before putting people in it. This will take some time.

    Having said so, there has never been a shortage of kamikazes :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  5. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Maniac Posts: 481   +158

    Well... it is shorter, so that affect its balance and gravity center. SpaceX did a successful trial on land a long time ago -even though it didn't fly that high-; the problem has been landing on a floating platform in the middle of the sea.
     
    stewi0001 likes this.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,536   +2,330

    Dunno. I think we've found who Cranky has been working for, though. Poor Space X.
     
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,558   +598

    That is insanely cool...
     
  8. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    Why is my mind in the gutter today...
     
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,548   +2,894

    LOL - Don't feel bad. I choose to rewrite my comment for the same reason.
     
    stewi0001 likes this.
  10. RoosterFish2

    RoosterFish2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +30

    Can this really be viewed as a triumph over SpaceX? I think the SpaceX failed landing was 1.Part of an actual resupply "mission" where goods were delivered to space. and 2. They had to land on a platform floating on the ocean? Anyone know why this company got to land on terra firma?

    Either way its good to see more successes for any private space company. That's how we will see large leaps and bounds now that government is so bloated paying for things that don't do a whole lot.
     
  11. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    Good job Blue Origin! I congratulate you on being able to control your vehicle as Supersonic Speeds in suborbital space! That is a great first step in coming up to what SpaceX is doing and controlling your vehicle at Hypersonic Speeds in geostationary transfer orbit; oh and of course lets not forget that you'd need to exhibit this control not for a few seconds, but a few minutes. We already saw that SpaceX was able to land on a platform (even though it tipped over) - I believe you can do the same Blue Origin!!

    To put it simply: everything we know about travel gets thrown out the window at Hypersonic speeds.
    I liked what Musk tweeted when he was comparing suborbital to GTO: The energy needed is the square, I.e. 9 units for space and 900 for orbit,"

    So good job for Blue Origin's first step!
     
  12. davimill

    davimill TS Rookie

    "The energy needed is the square, I.e. 9 units for space and 900 for orbit," What ?
    900 is a lot more than the square of 9, which is 81. 900 is two magnitudes: 9 X 10 X 10.
     
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,548   +2,894

    I didn't understand that statement either. I did however take that as two different locations, not an equality.

    "9 units for space and 900 for orbit"​

    That reads:
    • 9 for space
    • 900 for orbit
    But what those numbers supposedly represent is what I didn't get.
     

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