Reusable rocket returns upright In this photo provided by Blue Origin taken on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, an unmanned Blue Origin rocket blasts off in West Texas. (Blue Origin via AP)
Reusable rocket returns upright
Lexile

A private space company has shared that it landed a rocket upright and gently enough to be used again. It is a milestone in commercial aeronautics.
 
Reusing rockets, rather than discarding them, would be a big step toward making space flight less pricey.
 
The success produced "the rarest of beasts: a used rocket," said Jeff Bezos in a statement. He is founder of the company Blue Origin. He also is the CEO of Amazon.com Inc.
 
Another private company, SpaceX, has tried to land boosters upright on a barge in the ocean. So far, it has failed. The company has recorded soft landings on the ground by rockets that flew less than a mile high. That is an altitude far lower than what the new test achieved.
 
Blue Origin said the unmanned flight took place in November. It was at its site in Van Horn in West Texas. The secretive company is based in Kent, Washington. The company did not invite reporters to attend. Its first test flight happened in April.
 
Its New Shepard vehicle consists of a capsule that is designed to take people into space for suborbital flights someday and a booster. In this flight, the booster soared about 62 miles high. Then it released the capsule, which parachuted to the ground.
 
After the separation, the booster began falling back to Earth. It slowed its fall by firing its engine, starting at about 4,900 feet above ground. It was falling at just 4.4 mph when it touched down at the launch site. The rocket was still standing up, the company said.
 
"It's really a major step forward toward reusability," said John M. Logsdon. He is professor emeritus at the George Washington University's Space Policy Institute. Although NASA space shuttles were also reusable after returning to Earth safely, they were far more pricey than rockets, he noted.
 
"The goal here is low-cost reusability," Logsdon said.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 157 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is a reusable rocket both rare and desirable?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (172)
  • isaiahh-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:31 a.m.

    If the rocket is going too fast will it still be standing or will it crash and break apart.

  • diegoe-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:33 a.m.

    A reusable rocket is rare and desirable because if the scientists prove to build a reusable it will be a big step for mankind

  • khoai-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:33 a.m.

    The rocket probably cost a lot of money.

  • ricke-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:35 a.m.

    How were they able to land the rocket so gently that it was able to use again?:)

  • diegoe-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:35 a.m.

    This was was a great story because reusable rockets would be a great help for mankind.

  • isaiahh-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:36 a.m.

    With a reusable rocket, it would cost less money to get the parts needed.

  • armandoc-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:36 a.m.

    It was rare because it was the first cheap, reusable rocket made and it was desirable to NASA for space projects.

  • armandoc-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:39 a.m.

    What did they use to make the rocket?

  • alyzad-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:39 a.m.

    They did not go with NASA because George Washington institution wanted new rockets but they are to pricey.

  • manuelm-ali
    12/02/2015 - 11:41 a.m.

    It is both rare and desirable because no space station can do this.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT