Blue Origin has successfully launched its first reusable rocket, named New Shepard. The rocket lifted off successfully with the passenger carrying capsule and also landed safely on the ground as well. The Jeff Bezos-operated company launched from its launch pad in Texas at 1:07 EST. This launch is the eighth of its kind for the New Shepard rocket. Blue Origin has the ultimate goal to bring tourists close to space and become the leader of the private space industry. There was a “Mannequin Skywalker” also in the passenger’s seat for the launch.
The capsule has carried over half a dozen experiments and has benefited from the changes in microgravity while the capsule was freefalling. These experiments also included the tests regarding Wi-Fi and life support technologies which would be used in space missions. It can also be used in the missions which are meant for democratizing space travel. The rocket reached its highest altitude of 350,000 feet which is higher than the normal altitude.
Bezos gave an interview and the CEO Axel Springer called Blue Origins, “the most important work that I’m doing.” Bezos also became the world’s wealthiest man earlier this year. He also plans on putting humans into the rockets for flight testing by the end of 2018 or at the start of 2019. Bezos said, “Take the scenario, where you move out into the Solar System. The Solar System can easily support a trillion humans. And if we had a trillion humans, we would have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts and unlimited (for all practical purposes) resources and solar power unlimited for all practical purposes. That’s the world that I want my great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren to live in.”
Meanwhile, Bezos has said that in a previous interview that he wants to sell billion dollars in Amazon stock to fund Blue Origin and that he will do this every year. During the livestream, the viewers were reminded of Blue Origin’s goal: The democratization of space tourism and making it affordable, sustainable, and enjoyable. Thanks to Bezos Blue Origin team and Elon Musk’s competing SpaceX endeavors, the stress on reusability can change how the public and investors see the potential for space tourism. Scott Nolan, a partner at Founder’s Fund, said, “Until recently, a big bottleneck for commercial space was simply launched capacity. SpaceX’s now proven reusability will dramatically reduce launch costs and meaningfully increase both global launch capacity and frequency. We believe this shift will enable new businesses across a number of applications, and in the process unleash the next wave of space investors.”