Apparently, owning a commercial space flight company is the thing to do among the tech elite. While many people are already familiar with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, far fewer people are aware that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has his own space flight company, a venture called Blue Origin.
If the name sounds at all familiar, it’s because Blue Origin about two and a half weeks ago launched a reusable rocket – named the New Shepard – and managed to land it back to earth safely, an impressive feat that SpaceX is still struggling to pull off. Nonetheless, Musk was gracious enough to congratulate the Blue Origin team via Twitter for their success.
About a week after Blue Origin’s impressive feat, Jeff Bezos tweeted out a link appropriately titled, “What 400 very happy rocket scientists look like.” The link directs us to a Blue Origin YouTube video which shows us what it was like at Blue Origin HQ during the historic rocket landing.
The video is a must-watch, both rousing and exhilarating. Seeing so many people, working incredibly hard together for a common goal, and then enjoying the fruits of all their hard labor in unison is simply inspiring.
For those interested, a more detailed view of the rocket during the historic landing can be seen below. At its peak, the New Shepard rocket reached an altitude of 330,000 feet.
Bezos detailed some of the more technical aspects of the rocket following its historic landing on the Blue Origin website.
Our unique ring fin shifted the center of pressure aft to help control reentry and descent; eight large drag brakes deployed and reduced the vehicle’s terminal speed to 387 mph; hydraulically actuated fins steered the vehicle through 119-mph high-altitude crosswinds to a location precisely aligned with and 5,000 feet above the landing pad; then the highly-throttleable BE-3 engine re-ignited to slow the booster as the landing gear deployed and the vehicle descended the last 100 feet at 4.4 mph to touchdown on the pad.
Impressive stuff, and certainly worthy of a celebration.