Technology 2 min read

Blue Origin's Reusable Rocket Successfully Lands Back on Earth

Blue Origin's reusable rocket New Shepard during yesterday's launch | Blue Origin

Blue Origin's reusable rocket New Shepard during yesterday's launch | Blue Origin

On Wednesday, Blue Origin’s first reusable rocket, called New Shepard, completed its 10th test flight. This time, the spacecraft successfully carried NASA-sponsored research and technology payloads to suborbital space before landing safely back to Earth.

The rocket booster and uncrewed capsule launched from Blue Origin’s Texas test site at around 10:05 AM EST yesterday. The New Shepard propelled the capsule to the edge of space, reaching an altitude of 350,775 feet above Earth.

“Absolutely spectacular flight! That, everybody, is a reusable rocket,” Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin’s director of astronaut and orbital sales, exclaimed as New Shepard landed successfully.

The Future of Space Travel

Like SpaceX’s Dragon system, the reusable New Shepard rocket is designed to reduce the cost of sending mission crew and payloads into space.

During New Sheppard’s test flight and the NASA mission yesterday, the crew capsule detached from the reusable rocket at around 200,000 feet. Then, the rocket deployed a set of fins helping it maintain its upright position as it descended back to Earth.

On its final descent, approximately 8,000 feet above the ground, New Shepard fired its propulsion system, slowing it down to a near hover before settling on the ground with its three retractable limbs.

Meanwhile, the capsule also made entry back to Earth after spending several minutes in suborbital space. As it began falling back to the surface, it deployed its two-stage parachute system at around 30,000 feet to slow down its descent.

Blue Origin plans to use the New Shepard rocket to fly paying passengers into suborbital space in the future. Its capsule could reportedly carry six passengers. However, the Jeff Bezos-owned private space agency has not disclosed the price of its space travel ticket yet.

How close do you think we are to making space tourism a reality?

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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