US rocket both launches and lands safely
US rocket both launches and lands safely

EARLY last week, a rocket was launched in Texas (德薩斯州), a southern state in the US. That seems like nothing much, as there must be dozens of rockets being fired into space every year. But what made it historic was this: the rocket could return to and land on Earth again after the launch.

Blue Origin (「藍色起源」) is a space company owned by Jeff Bezos (貝索斯), the founder and chairman of the largest online bookshop Amazon (亞馬遜). The company has been developing a rocket called New Shepard (謝潑德).

In the past, rockets could only be used once, which made space travel very expensive. For the first time in history, New Shepard landed on Earth vertically after taking off. That means the rocket can be used again and again. Blue Origin hopes this could make space tourism much easier and cheaper!

(This article is published on Goodies on 2 December 2015)