Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin just landed a space craft back on Earth
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s private space company Blue Origin has completed a ‘historic’ test flight, after sending a craft to space before successfully landing it on Earth.
Several other reusable rocket-based systems have completed similar sub-orbital tests, though none has made it to orbit and safely back to Earth under its own power. As such it would appear this test, while significant, is a more concretely a “first” for BlueOrigins — and a relatively subtle first for spaceflight as a whole.
Space tech meets aviation: The hypersonic revolution
London to Melbourne in 90 minutes? Paris to San Francisco in under an hour? That’s travel at 25 times the speed of sound — or barely enough time to take in an in-flight movie. Few areas of aviation generate wilder predictions than hypersonic flight — but a team in Germany might just have cracked it.
Hypersonic means speeds of Mach 5 or over, or more than five times the speed of sound. Supersonic is Mach 1, or the speed of sound. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are taking their own approach. A team has applied space technology principles to propose what is possibly the world’s most advanced hypersonic airliner concept to date.
Google, Facebook, SpaceX, OneWeb plan to beam Internet everywhere
About 57% of the world population is offline — mostly because of unavailable Internet in poor or rural countries. The United Nations set a goal of getting that number down to 50% by the end of 2020.
One problem is cost. Another hurdle: Many nations include huge wilderness areas where hard-wire delivery systems like landlines and towers don’t exist.
Google, Facebook, SpaceX and other outfits plan to beam the Internet from either low-orbiting satellites or high-flying drones and balloons.
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