You probably know about the Elon Musk’s failed attempts to make rockets reusable with its Space X space project that is a contractor of NASA. But. I don’t think many of you would remember our post on Jeff Bezos and his relatively unknown Blue Origin Space program’s attempts at making reusable rockets for NASA. Although Space X has got most of the limelight in recent times, it is Blue Origin that struck Gold first as it has recently announced the successful recovery of a BE-3 rocket thus making these expensive one-time fuel tanks reusable.
This technology is significant for future space travel as it will dramatically decrease all the costs involved in the ultra-expensive space programs and allow more and more people and equipment to travel through space. Since the next destination is Mars, these reusable rockets, if incorporated in time, could be used for multiple missions. Since NASA could only plan a few because of outrageous costs, this would allow the space agency to maintain a supply line to the red planet for people living there and trying to find out more about the world.
The Blue Origin’s Shepherd Capsule is touted to be the next generation passenger cabin for the crew and the equipment. After the launch, the capsule came back and landed safely with parachutes, but this isn’t what drew the headlines. The BE-3 rocket after using most of its fuel fell back towards Earth, but fire its remaining fuel at about 5000 feet above the ground and was able to make a historic controlled landing while facing a gentle 4.4 mph wind. Space X had also been trying to make such a landing, but its Falcon rocket always got imbalanced and blew up on impact.
So, Jeff Bezos won this round of the fight between the two famous tech billionaires. There has been no response from the Elon Musk camp, but the only thing that can be considered as a competitive reply is a successful landing of its own rocket.
Here is the footage of the famous landing from Blue Origin. This healthy competition may soon spell even greater rocket wars for us to witness. Can’t wait for the next round!