Roger's Equations Blog

Roger's Equations

This blog is all about science and technology (with occasional math thrown in for fun). The goal of this blog is to try and pass on the sense of excitement and wonder I feel when I read about these topics. I hope you enjoy the posts.

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Blue Origin Suborbital Launch and Recovery

Posted November 25, 2015 8:39 AM by Bayes

Billionaire Rivals

It looks like Bezos' "side" project Blue Origin is starting to get some traction. I'm a little disturbed by how news reports seem to be equating this accomplishment with the work SpaceX has done, but that doesn't mean it isn't impressive (it is!). Elon Musk protested the comparisons via twitter (justifiably so in my opinion). Still, it is nice to see at least the perception of competition is the commercial space race.

In case you haven't heard about the successful Blue Origin rocket launch and recovery, here is the article:

Blue Origin Launches Bezos's Space Dreams and Lands a Rocket

This time, Jeffrey P. Bezos' rocket went up - and it came down in one piece.

Mr. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has been investing some of his wealth in space dreams, establishing a rocket company called Blue Origin. On Monday, Blue Origin launched its New Shepard rocket, named after Alan Shepard, the first American to reach space in a similar suborbital flight in 1961. The rocket lofted a capsule that is to eventually carry paying passengers on suborbital jaunts to a height of 329,839 feet, or 100.5 kilometers, above its launch site near Van Horn in West Texas. That is just above the 100-kilometer altitude that is considered the beginning of outer space.

The capsule descended to the ground under parachutes 11 minutes after blasting off. The rocket itself turned around and, firing its engines again, set back down at the launchpad at 4.4 miles per hour - faster than a person strolling, but gentle enough to prevent damage. It landed less than five feet from its target. "It was a totally nominal flight," Mr. Bezos said in an interview. "We're walking on cloud nine. There wasn't a dry eye in the house." This builds on a largely successful test flight in April. In that operation, the launch and the landing of the capsule were flawless, but the rocket crashed because of a failure with a hydraulic system. Mr. Bezos said engineers had replaced the hydraulics with a new design.

Article Continues Here


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