The Reusable Rocket is Now a Reality
Blue Origins after its historic landing back at the launch site in Texas. Courtesy Blue Origin.
The folks at Blue Origin made science fiction come to life on November 23rd with the launch of the New Shepard space vehicle. It’s designed to launch, deploy its crew capsule payload, and then land safely back on its retractable legs. The test, which took place in Texas, looked almost too easy — but it showed that reusable rockets are here to stay, and that’s a HUGE advance in spacecraft engineering.
Settling a rocket back onto the ground “bottom first” on its retractable legs is not an easy task. It can be blown off course if winds kick up, and of course, there are the technical challenges of making sure all the rockets and electronics work in synchrony to guide the rocket back down over a narrow path. As you can see from the picture, the rocket did fine, landing right on the pad, with only a few burn marks on its rear end to show for its trouble.
Watch this video of the test provided by the Blue Origin team. It’s very cool.
Anybody who has ...