SpaceX is not the only company launching rockets and landing them again for reuse later.
At the weekend Blue Origin – a firm owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – successfully launched and landed the New Shepard 2.0 spacecraft. Blue Origin hopes to be among the first companies to offer space tourism, ferrying tourists from Earth to the edge of space.
While the launch and subsequent landing were a success the real success of the launch was that Blue Origin was able to reach an altitude of 107km. This altitude is where Blue Origin will operate its tours so its good to know that the rocket can reach that height and return to terra firma safely.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 29, 2018
Once the test flight was concluded, the booster rocket returned to the launch site to make a vertical landing much like SpaceX does with its rockets. A while later a capsule containing a dummy that hitched a ride to the high heavens, named Mannequin Skywalker as well as an array of sensors descended to Earth.
Incidentally, that appears how tourists will get back to Earth once they reach the edge of space, parachute. Relax, you won’t have to do what Felix Baumgartner did, the capsule will descend to Earth with the help of parachutes. Still, seems a bit too extreme for us.
You can watch the launch and landing of the Blue Origin rocket in the video below.