When you think about it, it’s obvious. When all international Bad Boys of Corporate Innovation started getting into the Space Race, it was inevitable that Jeff Bezos would join them.
Recently, Blue Origin, the space exploration LLC owned by Amazon founder and Architect of Modern Consumerism, Jeff Bezos, achieved what it – and everyone else – called a key milestone. To whit, safely launching a rocket that ALSO safely returned from space.
So-called “reusable” rockets is a huge step for the for-profit space entrepreneurs. When you know, the money’s going to keep rolling in, just letting the rocket components “splashdown” is no big deal. But if you are trying to turn a profit, you can’t just keep tossing your rockets in the trash like crushed Natty Lite cans.
Everyone is trying it. Bezos just made it work. The vehicle, named “New Shepard”, rocketed 100 kilometers into space and landed back at its launch site … according to a Blue Origin press release.
Bezos was beside himself with delight in his message: “Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts—a used rocket. Full reuse is a game changer, and we can’t wait to fuel up and fly again.”
Reusable rockets are also priceless in the PR game. Investors are looking for exactly that gold standard. Elon Musk, whose SpaceX has been working on the same goal, was magnanimous about his competitor’s success. In Twitter post, Musk said: “Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving” a vertical takeoff and landing.
Good sportsmanship, for certain. Nice form, Elon. But you can bet that just means SpaceX will redouble their efforts. Remember the history of space exploration. Russia struck first, but the US counterpunch led the way for a generation. You can bet Musk and SpaceX are hoping to do exactly that.
And they better hope to do it fast. Once again, the world is watching the skies.