Better known for founding Amazon, which sells everything to everyone, #Jeff Bezos is enthusiastic about his #Blue Origin spaceflight company and the concept of reusable rockets. Well, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the probable truth in his claim that using reusable rockets will make #space exploration more affordable in the future. Nevertheless, to put the concept into practice does take rocket scientists and they have been hard at work at the Seattle-based company doing just that.
Bezos' first reusable rocket did it five times
Jeff Bezos put a lot of his own money into developing the New Shepard rocket and in the last year it has been launched and relaunched five times. This is the first time a rocket has been used more than once. Bezos pointed out to the Smithsonian Magazine that there are obvious cost savings involved in reusable rockets. "When you look at expendable rockets today, the cost of propellant is only about 1 percent of the cost of the mission,” he said.
The golden age and moon mining
Bezos believes that just as the Internet grew exponentially, that space exploration will be the golden age of the future. Reporter Charles Fishman quotes him as saying, "I believe that we are sitting on the edge of a golden age of space exploration." This is something that all the major countries of the world have anticipated, and especially within the mining and energy industries, great interest is being taken in the possibilities of using rockets to access space to harvest minerals.
China is talking about wanting to mine the moon. The Telegraph reported that China is particularly interested in Helium-3 which is abundant on the moon. Helium-3 is "possibly one of the most valuable substances in nature, one that could provide energy for the world."
Elon Musk's SpaceX
The concept of reusable rockets has been hailed as one of the top ten breakthrough technologies in recent times. The MIT Technology Review points out that while Blue Origin is thinking along the lines of transporting passengers, another company, Elon Musk’s SpaceX needs the technology for satellite launches and to run supplies to Space Stations. SpaceX was not far behind Blue Origin in working on a reusable rocket design.
Reporter Brian Bergstein nutshells the future of space exploration that will ride on the backs of these two Billionaire space exploration pioneers, by writing, "it’s now clear that the future of spaceflight will be far more interesting than the Apollo-era hangover of the past 40 years."