Blue Origin (and Amazon.com) CEO Jeff Bezos couldn’t have picked a more perfect day to debut on the company’s first livestreamed rocket launch and landing.
After a small delay due to high heat at the Texas launch site, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket and uncrewed capsule took off beautifully, cruising up into suborbital space at more than 2,000 miles per hour. At an altitude of about 331,500 feet, the rocket and its capsule separated and came hurtling back to Earth at even higher speeds than the launch. But both managed to execute perfect landings.
(Note: the speed looks a lot faster in these gifs than it happened in real life.)
The landing feat was particularly impressive for the capsule. Blue Origin deliberately failed one of the capsule’s parachute strings to see if it could still land safely if there’s a parachute problem–an important test, given the company hopes to carry tourists into space and back again in a couple years.
This was the rocket’s fourth time flying to suborbital space and back again. These reusable launch vehicles could dramatically cut costs for getting humans into space.