Amazon reuses a launched booster for the first time ever

It's extremely difficult to reland a rocket booster, with Bezos comparing it to balancing a pencil on a finger.

Craig Hall | Feb 26, 2016

Elon Musk and SpaceX have plenty of competition in the private rocketry world. This time, it's Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose space company Blue Origin has found a way to successfully reuse its New Shephard rocket, just weeks after Musk accomplished the feat at SpaceX.

And Bezos might have taken a slight step ahead of Musk on one respect, as it marked the first time a vertical launch rocket has ever been reused -- unlike in SpaceX's case, which said it could have relaunched the rocket but chose to essentially retire it for ground testing, according to a BizJournals.com report.

Bezos said that relanding these rockets will get easier as they get bigger, so this experiment is critical in advance of actually using a large booster to launch satellites into orbit. Meanwhile, the New Shephard rocket would be used for tourism.

It's extremely difficult to reland a rocket booster, with Bezos comparing it to balancing a pencil on a finger.

New Shephard is also the smallest booster that will ever be built by the company, the Amazon founder said, so that is one advantage Musk has: he's used rocket booster on spacecraft that were actually launched into orbit.

Since Bezos' company was successful this launch, landing, and reusal, it will get easier as the larger the object, the more inertia it will have and thus will have greater resistance to sudden movements. For example, it's easier to balance a broomstick on your hand than a pencil.

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