from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Reusable rocket technology has been a ‘holy grail’ of sorts for space exploration. Building reusable components is supposed to make space travel more affordable, but the Space Shuttle is the prime example of how that’s not necessarily true, as it cost over an order of magnitude more than originally planned. Still, it should be possible to make reusable rockets that are cheaper to operate, and some private companies are figuring out how to do it. SpaceX hasn’t quite gotten reusable rockets perfected yet (though, it has done it more than a few times with its Grasshopper vehicle). And depending on how you define a “rocket” — Virgin Galactic & Scaled Composites have also developed reusable space vehicles.
- Blue Origin has successfully landed a rocket after it launched to a suborbital altitude. Elon Musk rightly points out that this isn’t exactly the first time a suborbital rocket has landed in reusable condition, but it’s still nice to see rocket technology improving and getting cheaper to operate. [url]
- Jeff Bezos is moving his space company to Florida to build and launch its rockets near NASA’s government facilities — the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Blue Origin will be making its rocket engines in the good ol’ USA, and its BE-3 engine is the one that will be reusable. (note: The BE-3 isn’t as powerful as Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine which is more comparable to SpaceX’s reusable rocket.) [url]
- Lots of people credit Jules Verne for inspiring spaceflight, but the first proposal of rocket-based spaceflight actually comes from Canadian William Leitch in 1861. Leitch’s paper was written 4 years before Verne’s book “From the Earth to the Moon” — and decades before plausible rocket-powered space plans from Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and American Robert Goddard were written. But does it matter who thought of something first, or who actually executes it? [url]
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Filed Under: elon musk, grasshopper, jeff bezos, jules verne, kennedy space center, konstantin tsiolkovsky, new shepard, re-usable rockets, robert goddard, rockets, space, space exploration, suborbital, william leitch
Companies: blue origin, nasa, spacex