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Science: 

What does Jeff Bezos’ successful rocket landing mean for us?

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Launching a rocket is one thing. But landing again is much more difficult.

In case you hadn’t heard already, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has successfully launched and landed a rocket.

Mr. Bezos has always been fascinated with outer space and has invested heavily in his own rocket company known as Blue Origin. This past Monday saw the launch of its New Shepard rocket, appropriately named after Alan Shepard who was the first American to reach space back in 1961 (nice touch, Jeff).

Unlike the failed attempt back in April, the capsule calmly descended to the ground in 11 minutes with the help of some well-placed parachutes. The rocket landed just five feet from its specific target at a pace of just 4.4 mph.

Suffice to say, Mr. Besos was over the moon about the entire project, and had some choice cliches of his own for the New York Times, “It was a totally nominal flight. We’re walking on cloud nine. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

So what does this mean going forward? Well, the capsule is said to eventually be capable of carrying paying passengers to mind-blowing heights of up to 329,839 feet. Considering the fact that 100 km is considered the beginning of outer space, said passengers can boast that they have officially explored The Great Beyond.

The company is already selling space on the capsule for the purpose of research experiments during ongoing test flights. Blue Origin will also be looking at launching commercial flights for tourists within a couple of years. As Mr. Bezos testifies, “Think of this as the beginning of a thorough test program. The next flight should be a matter of weeks.” There’s also the option of competing for both commercial and military satellite launches.

The Amazon founder has made no secret of his passion to send people into space, and we could be just a few years away from this dream becoming a reality. Stay tuned.

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