America and Soviet Union are serious competitors in space missions. Even though the Soviet Union was the first country to launch the satellite Sputnik into orbit, America got hold of the technology to make it possible for a man, Neal Armstrong to land on the moon . Ever since the moon landing, America hasn’t slowed down with respect to space technology. The idea of reusability was in theory until recently when Blue Origin launched the New Shepard rocket this week. The rocket landed back neatly in Texas without any problem. The unmanned space capsule plunged 330,000 feet into the air and landed safely back after a test flight.
The founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos is the founder of Blue Origin and it has been operating to lay a strong foundation for human presence in the space. The reusable rocket boosters used in New Shepard are one of the greatest breakthrough technologies that can be used extensively in the near future. The New Shepard is scheduled to be launched into space in a few months. The rocket is now stored safely in West Texas.
Earlier this year, Blue Origin tried to bring back a rocket and the mission failed due to problems with hydraulic failure. After an expensive failure, the company finally came up with a new technology to use hydraulic thrusters and fins to slow down the rocket during the descent. The new BE-3 engine helped the rocket to land back safely. In the last 100 feet of landing, the rocket slowed down to 4 mph from 387 mph.
Commercial companies take part in the competition
As a result of the success exhibited by Blue Origin, various commercial spaceflight organizations have started a race to gain a large portion of the space exploration industry. The public on the other hand doesn’t have as much interest in space exploration after the failure of Apollo missions. However, various companies like SpaceX, Space Florida are interested in reusability as it is considered as one of the most important breakthrough technological developments. This capability will allow the commercial launch providers to have a good competitive cost advantage.
The most interesting aspect about the competitive race is that the government organizations are out of the competition. The private marketplace is trying to inspire the American public by opening up new ways for space exploration. The public is not aware of the latest advancements and the crowd that follows the news is highly cynical. Despite the lack of interest among the general public, the commercial organizations are interested in taking this technology further. Blue Origin has successfully made a rocket to take off and land safely. This technology can be further expanded to allow the rocket to complete orbital travel before landing back.
As Blue Original has successfully demonstrated that rockets can be landed perfectly, it has opened up new opportunities with commercial spaceflight organizations. Even though it is a remarkable achievement, there is a long way to go to explore orbital mission, but the interest of major companies in the technology can stimulate the research and development of new rocket technologies.