Space company Blue Origin has made history by successfully landing a reusable suborbital rocket back on Earth.
During the test mission, the unmanned “New Shepard” was launched to the edge of space at an altitude of 100km.
The space vehicle is comprised of two elements, a three-person crew capsule and a rocket booster powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
The rocket managed a vertical landing at a site in Texas, while the empty passenger capsule made a controlled landing with the help of a parachute.
Owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of internet retailer Amazon, the private space firm was ecstatic at their historic feat.
“Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts – a used rocket,” Mr Bezos said.
“Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard space vehicle flew a flawless mission.”
“Full reuse is a game changer, and we can’t wait to fuel up and fly again.”
New Shepard is designed to ferry people into low Earth orbit for several minutes and is among a handful of spacecraft developed to carry cargo and paying passengers into space.
The mission is in some contrast to rival company SpaceX’s recent attempts to land a rocket on a barge, which have all crashed.
But as billionaire owner of SpaceX Elon Musk pointed out, they’re attempting to land a larger and more powerful reusable rocket that could orbit around earth.
“Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL [Vertical take-off landing] on their booster,” Mr Musk tweeted. “It is however important to clear up the difference between ‘space’ and orbit’. Getting to space needs Mach 3, but getting to orbit requires Mach 30.”
bezos v musk?
“The mission is in some contrast to rival company SpaceX’s recent attempts to land a rocket on a barge, which have all crashed.”
100kms up..cool..how about going 400kms up? no? why not?