In a surprise move Blue Origin has launched the New Shepard rocket into space and successfully recovered it, beating out SpaceX in their attempts to do the same, a breakthrough that should make the future of space travel cheaper and more accessible.
The rocket successfully passed the Karman line, an altitude of 100 kilometers or 62 miles above sea level, officially entering suborbital space before returning safely to earth making a controlled landing. SpaceX has famously and publicly failed to land their first stage rocket upright on a floating platform this year while Blue Origin has remained remarkably quiet until now. The company plans to use the rocket to bring up to six passengers to space for tourism purposes which is a different mission from SpaceX whose rockets are being developed to take humans and equipment to the ISS.
Elon Musk congratulated Jeff Bezos and Blue Orbit on twitter for achieving VTOL but then his tweets kind of devolve into a defensive mess where eventually he rightly credits the X-15 and SpaceShipOne for the first reusable suborbitals. I’d rather not twist the knife like reddit and the rest of the media is doing because I see the inherent difference in Blue Origin and SpaceX’s missions.
Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL on their booster
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015
Hopefully this will spark up the competition and get even more innovation in the realm of space travel. Congrats to Blue Origin, and if you want to take this writer to space, give me a call!