Blue Origin and SpaceX revisit rocket landings

Image: Blue Origin view
A view from the “vent cam” on Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital booster shows a West Texas landscape during an April 2 flight, plus a “toasty brown” ring fin at the top. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Will seeing a spaceship land on its feet ever get old? The novelty is still there in newly released videos from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, showing new perspectives on their most recent rocket landings.

Blue Origin’s video recaps the April 2 flight of its New Shepard suborbital space vehicle, as seen from a camera pointing out from one of the booster’s vents. The 2:38 clip begins with a shot of the curving blue Earth below the blackness of space – a view that paying passengers could see as early as 2018.

Then there’s the supersonic descent back through the atmosphere. If you look closely at the full-frame, high-definition video, you might be able to pick out the Rio Grande River running through the West Texas landscape surrounding Blue Origin’s launch and landing site.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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