One of the biggest challenges that Elon Musk’s SpaceX has yet to be able to tackle is a controlled landing for one of their rockets. We’ve seen as he’s tried on multiple occasions, but each new attempt usually ends in some sort of crash and small explosion. Meanwhile, while no one else was looking, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin project vehicle, the New Shepard, did just that. It launched a consumer rocket that included a pod capable of taking several people on a quick trip to outer space (4 minutes), and then managed to land both the capsule and the rocket, safely back on earth in a controlled descent. The most amazing part is how the rocket landed. After plummeting back towards the earth, it fired rockets just 5,000 in the air and then landed gently at less than 5 miles an hour.
So far, the only downside I can see is that I’ve never seen a rocket look more like a penis than Blue Origin.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle successfully flew to space, reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers) before executing a historic landing back at the launch site in West Texas.