Blue Origin has surprised the world this week by doing something we never thought was going to happen.
After testing the safety of its commercial spacecraft payload on Wednesday, the company attempted to land its New Shepard rocket on solid ground despite the warnings from the company’s rocket scientists that it was likely the company would lose its historic rocket during the part where the payload separated from the rocket with 70,000 pounds of off-axis force.
Image Credit: Blue Origin
Nevertheless, Blue Origin appears to have managed to land their New Shepard rocket successfully for a fifth time, not only making history, but also shattering the reputation of nay-sayers all the world.
As it seems, the New Shepard rocket is one heck of a reliable rocket system.
As the safety test was carried out, an engine on board the commercial spacecraft payload lifted it above the rocket while it burned for several seconds. After the payload was separated from the rocket and at a safe distance, it deployed parachutes to make a safe, soft landing, which would be important if it were carrying human cargo.
Although New Shepard is not intended for deep space orbit penetration like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is, it’s still a rocket nonetheless, and it shows that rocket science has come a long way; so far, that we can actually land and re-use those rockets rather than building a new one each and every time we want to go into space.
This kind of technology, paired with a successful safety system, means that commercial space flight is not far off. Every day people will soon be able to buy tickets to take a joyride into space without a NASA astronaut uniform.
You can watch a video of the launch and landing below: