Hitting ~Mach 3, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launched yesterday, on November 23, ultimately reaching an altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers). Once the unmanned crew capsule separated from the rocket, New Shepard reached its destination and then proceeded with a smooth landing back on Earth.
With this new, and ultimately successful, landing attempt, Blue Origin has officially made history. And in reward of such an achievement, Elon Musk took to Twitter to congratulate Jeff Bezos and the entire Blue Origin team. Of course, Musk couldn’t help himself but to subsequently provide a bit of friendly criticism as well.
Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL on their booster— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015
Elon Musk’s criticism shouldn’t be seen as a failure on Blue Origin’s part, but rather an obstacle of which the company must first transcend if they ever wish to truly become a space race competitor in the league of both NASA and SpaceX. If the determination is there, then I have absolutely no doubt that Blue Origin will make it and ultimately change the industry forever. We are witnessing the true birth of inexpensive private space flight, with the help of companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Eventually the common layperson here on Earth will be able to travel into space, visit our future space stations, and even take vacations on other planets. We are truly on the cusp of a Star Trek future, boldly going where no man has gone before!
Photo Credit: Blue Origin