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Blue Origin - Booster Reuse - New Shepard

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
1,014
It seems that Blue Origin has successfully performed VTOL of reusable rockets, beating SpaceX to land a used rocket.

Jeff Bezos beats Elon Musks SpaceX in the reusable rocket race

One point of note is the much slower speed of the Blue Origin rocket - could the BO rocket deliver payloads at the lower speeds noted in the article? Or was that just a test and they'd have to go much faster?

To me, it would be logical that spacecraft would need the faster speeds to drive payloads and that the slower speed couldn't be used for anything other than a test?

(Asking as a completely clueless but interested observer...)
 

JohnSnowNW

Active Member
Feb 13, 2015
2,646
2,772
Minnesota
Perhaps a silly question...but why does it appear they were allowed to land on solid ground? Because the rocket didn't make it to orbit?
 

RDoc

S85D
Aug 24, 2012
2,743
1,592
Boston North Shore
SpaceX conducted many tests of low altitude stage VTOL using their Grasshopper stage, although it's certainly true that the Blue Origin rocket went much higher, but no where near as fast.
 

ggies07

Supporting Member
Nov 8, 2012
3,851
7,148
Ft. Worth, TX

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,947
SF Bay Area
One point of note is the much slower speed of the Blue Origin rocket - could the BO rocket deliver payloads at the lower speeds noted in the article? Or was that just a test and they'd have to go much faster?

To me, it would be logical that spacecraft would need the faster speeds to drive payloads and that the slower speed couldn't be used for anything other than a test?

(Asking as a completely clueless but interested observer...)

Blue Origin was testing for their mission, which is to get to space, not to orbit. (Few minutes of weightlessness for space tourism). Getting to orbit requires much higher speeds.
 

sandpiper

Active Member
Sep 25, 2014
2,833
2,141
Ontario, Canada
It seems that Blue Origin has successfully performed VTOL of reusable rockets, beating SpaceX to land a used rocket.

Jeff Bezos beats Elon Musks SpaceX in the reusable rocket race

One point of note is the much slower speed of the Blue Origin rocket - could the BO rocket deliver payloads at the lower speeds noted in the article? Or was that just a test and they'd have to go much faster?

To me, it would be logical that spacecraft would need the faster speeds to drive payloads and that the slower speed couldn't be used for anything other than a test?

(Asking as a completely clueless but interested observer...)

I'm sure it's because the B.O. rocket goes straight up 100 km, falls straight down and then fires the rockets to decelerate at the very end of the trip, all over an unpopulated area. That's quite different (and much easier) than what I understand SpaceX is attempting. SpaceX is going a long ways downrange, turning the rocket around, flying back in the direction of Florida, decelerating from 3x the speed of the B.O. rocket and then landing relatively near to a populated area.
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,498
9,788
Drammen, Norway
so the rocket made it to orbit, but not space? That's how I read it.....so they did it first with a smaller rocket, whereas SpaceX has a bigger load that can go further, but is heavier to land?

Correct. But a great accomplishment nonetheless.
 
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Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,498
9,788
Drammen, Norway
SpaceX

Well good for progress, too bad SpaceX wasn't first.....

They did fly the Grasshopper up several hundred meters and then land it... So they were first to fly a rocket upright like that, hover and then land. Then Bezoz to orbit. Hopefully next SpaceX to space and back.
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,640
21,000
San Diego
Kudos for Blue Origin. Very impressive.

I notice that they are also working with the Dark Side (Boeing and Lockhead Martin) to build a replacement for the Russian RD-180 to allow them to compete for military launches.
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,640
21,000
San Diego
Blue Origin never got to orbit. They went 100km straight up to edge of space and then straight back down. That's why they landed on solid ground. They never left that patch of desert. SpaceX gets payloads to orbit, so they have to travel down range quite a distance at a much higher speed (did you see the Blue Origin video, much wimpier rocket exhaust), then reverse course and come back to the origin point. Much harder to do.

Still kudos to blue origin, but nowhere nearly as hard as what SpaceX is doing.
 
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Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,351
Ottawa, Canada
What's the cut-off?

Blue Origin is like Virgin Galactic - it's for tourist trips on a suborbital trajectory. You can't deliver anything anywhere; at best you get a few minutes of microgravity. It's an enormous difference to get to orbit - a couple of orders of magnitude more energy.

In fact Elon just tweeted that orbit requires 10X the speed, and 100X the energy.

Musk seems annoyed.

Can't blame him. I'm sure NASA was highly irritated at the gloating surrounding the first SpaceShipOne flight. Yeah, it's a tiny fraction of the cost of NASA missions, but it's also not anywhere near scalable to do orbital missions. A couple of orders of magnitude short of getting to orbit, and no way the hardware could ever be made to do that.
 

mdevp

Member
Sep 30, 2014
538
87
nj
I think a huge difference is Spacex's incoming speed is way way higher, making it much more difficult. Don't think this is a very fair comparison, but grats to BO for such an impressive achievement.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,351
Ottawa, Canada
They did fly the Grasshopper up several hundred meters and then land it... So they were first to fly a rocket upright like that, hover and then land. Then Bezoz to orbit. Hopefully next SpaceX to space and back.

No, Bezos didn't get anywhere near orbit. Needs 100X that energy to get to orbit.

Basically Bezos did a Grasshopper flight to higher altitude than SpaceX has done. Straight up, straight down, no real space flight.
 

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