Blue Origin finally reveals their "spaceship"

Blue Origin finally reveals their "spaceship"

Blue Origin finally reveals their "spaceship"

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 10 2007 11:40 PM

Blue Origin finally reveals their "spaceship"

OK, I put "spaceship" in quotation marks because it only went up 285 feet, then came back down. But Blue Origin, the spaceship company started by Amazon.com's megarich Jeff Bezos, has been really secretive about their hardware.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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They finally released pictures and video of their test launch, which was in November of last year (yes, this was all released last week, but I've been busy). I have to say, it's pretty cool. The stubby lander goes up, then comes right back down, but they have multiple views including from the side, from below, and looking straight down (probably my favorite).

Funny. As soon as I saw the craft, I recognized it. I mean, instantly. Guys around my age may remember this little beauty:

Yes, the Estes model rocket Mars Lander. I say guys, because when I was into model rockets, there were no girls into it. I mean none. Gosh, I was so cool back then. Sigh.

Anyway, the Mars Lander really was nifty. The legs were on rubber bands or springs, so they absorbed the shock of landing. It was really difficult to build (Skill Level 4 or 5, the highest) and I remember it taking me forever to build it. It never flew well, and I got so frustrated with it that a friend of mine -- who was into remote controlled model planes -- and I mounted an RC propeller on it and launched it that way. I remember it clearly. It went up about thirty feet, tipped over, and plummeted to the ground.

Sniff. Memories.

Anyway, the Blue Origin (hmmm, BO?) test flight went pretty well. There is very little info on that site about anything, let alone future flights and all that. If I find more I'll post it.