Congratulations Blue Origin


Blue Origin’s successful launch and recovery on November 23, 2015 leapfrogs them to leadership in the private space race.

The launch-landing site is next door to Circle: The cliffs in the far background are the Sierra Diablo rim, Circle Ranch’s high country.

This post originally appeared on on 11/24:

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space transportation company, Blue Origin, successfully landed a suborbital rocket back at its launch site, a key step in its drive to make reusable rockets, the company said on Tuesday.

The New Shepard rocket, which is designed to carry six passengers, blasted off from a launch site in West Texas at 12:21 p.m. CST on Monday. The rocket reached an altitude of 62 miles (100 km) —breaching the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space — and landed back at the launch site eight minutes later, the company said.

“Rockets have always been expendable. Not anymore. Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts, a used rocket,” Bezos, who founded and owns the Washington Post newspaper, wrote in a Blue Origin blog post. In suborbital spaceflight, rockets are not traveling fast enough to reach the speed required to counter the pull of Earth’s gravity, so they re-enter the atmosphere like a ballistic missile.

Fellow billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder and chief executive officer of rival rocket company Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, used his Twitter feed to congratulate Bezos and the Blue Origin team on the landing, a technology that SpaceX is also pursuing.

SpaceX is working to reuse rockets that are returning from the higher altitudes and faster speeds of orbital missions.

“It is … important to clear up the difference between ‘space’ and ‘orbit’,” Musk posted on Twitter.

A rocket needs to be traveling about three times the speed of sound, or Mach 3, to reach space, but orbital missions require speeds about Mach 30, Musk said.

Nevertheless, it is the conditions in those last few seconds before touchdown, when both orbital and suborbital rockets are positioning themselves for landing, that so far has eluded SpaceX, and which the Blue Origin team nailed.

“I’m just ecstatic they were able to hit it,” said Eric Stallmer, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

Bezos told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that he expects that Blue Origin will be involved in commercial space operations within “a couple of years.”

“If everything goes extraordinarily well, maybe it will be faster than that,” he said. And would he take a seat on one of those flights into space?

“Absolutely,” Bezos said. ” I have been wanting to do that since I was five years old.”


In space as on rangelands, private individuals, not agencies or government sponsored monopolies, are the cutting edge.

Ranching, wildlife management, finance, oil & gas, real estate development and management.
  • There are a few interesting points in-time in this article but I don’t know if I see these center to
    center. There is some validity but I’ll take hold opinion until I consider
    it further. Great post, thanks and we wish more!

  • Awesome! The only thing I didn’t like is the commentator repeatedly saying that the sonic boom only is heard when the vehicle passes through the “sound barrier”. Its not the breaking through the sound barrier that creates the sonic boom, the shockwave is always created when flying faster than Mach 1.

    • I have never attended a launch but as we adjoin the ranch on which the launches occur, they are hard to miss. When these launch the boom – from a distance of 6-miles – is loud and extended but neither long-lasting nor frightening. The contrails are vertical and to a ground observer appear to corkscrew as – I guess – the vehicle passes through variable atmospheric windspeeds and directions. I read that over $2 billion will be spent on additional launches in 2018 & 2019.

      Thanks for commenting.

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