Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to Land Rockets on Drone Ships Just Like SpaceX
SpaceX repeatedly showcased its ability to land its rockets on land and in drone ships. But it won't be long until its competition Blue Origin does the same.
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos expressed his intent to land rockets on drone ships just like how Elon Musk's commercial spaceflight company, SpaceX.
Blue Origin released a video simulation showing its New Glenn rocket and its BE-4 engine landing on a drone ship. The video shows the whole process from the launch pad, during launch and the booster-payload separation in space. The booster was shown doing re-entry and flawlessly landing on a drone ship while the payload quietly travels through space.
Experts say that a sea landing is definitely more difficult to maneuver compared to vertical landing on solid ground. Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is ahead of SpaceX's Falcon 9 when it comes to solid ground landing, but SpaceX does have an advantage when it comes to drone ship landing, according to Popular Science.
More and more commercial spaceflight companies are developing technologies for drone ship or sea landing since it increased the possibility of reusing rockets compared to landing rockets or boosters on solid grounds. However, Blue Origins' move was bombarded with comments, saying SpaceX already mastered the technique and Blue Origin is just being a copycat. Some pointed that the technology need not be original in order to perform a flawless task.
The controversial patent of landing rockets in drone ships dates back in 2010 when Blue Origins tried to file a patent to which SpceX successfully disputed. If all goes to plan, both companies can be flying rockets and land them at sea in the next few years.
Blue Origins' New Glenn will take Eutelsat satellite to space in its maiden flight in 2021. New Glenn is expected to be more powerful than SpaceX Falcon 9.