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Blue Origin's successful test flight
#1
If you haven't seen this news already, go check it out!

I've been disappointed with the very slow test flight program at Blue Origin, but they must be doing a whole lot of simulations in between each flight, because they nailed this one beautifully.

I hope they will now step things up, proving the safety of the craft, and start carrying paying passengers before too long.  The serious possibility of that should light a fire under Virgin Galactic, who otherwise is going to start losing customers soon to Blue Origin.  So, hopefully we'll have both of these guys providing suborbital flights, albeit through very different methods.

Meanwhile, the fact that both Blue Origin and SpaceX have independently developed powered landings of first-stage boosters (even though the former is doing it only from a modest suborbital velocity, and the latter hasn't actually stuck the landing yet) is really interesting.  It suggests to me that this is how rockets are going to routinely work in the future — the boosters will fly back down and land themselves vertically, ready to be refueled and flown again.

Exciting times!

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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