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Monday 01 September 2014

Diagram from Blue Origin patent application 20110017872, "Sea Landing of Space Launch Vehicles and Associated Systems and Methods."

Diagram from Blue Origin patent application 20110017872, "Sea Landing of Space Launch Vehicles and Associated Systems and Methods."

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Amazon’s Bezos Patenting ‘Blue Origin’ Spacecraft

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The commerical space pioneer Jeff Bezos — better known as the founder and CEO of Amazon.com — hasn’t let the failure of a unmanned rocket dampen his ardor for building a business that will be able to take passengers to the edge of outer space. And he’s working to get the patents to prove it.

His space venture, Blue Origin, is based not far from Seattle in Kent, Wash., with a separate launch complex in Texas. According to its Website: “Blue Origin is developing New Shepard, a rocket-propelled vehicle designed to routinely fly multiple astronauts into suborbital space at competitive prices.”

Another angle to the Blue Origin story which heretofore seems not to have come to light is its activity on the patent front. In January, Bezos, along with Blue Origin colleagues Gary Lai and Sean Findlay, filed application number 20110017872 for a patent entitled “Sea Landing of Space Launch Vehicles and Associated Systems and Methods.”

The interesting twist here is that Blue Origin is aiming at reuse of its spacecraft, including recovery from a ship on which the vehicle makes a vertical landing.

Here’s the relevant language from the patent application abstract:

A reusable space launch vehicle is launched from a coastal launch site in a trajectory over water. After booster engine cutoff and upper stage separation, the booster stage reenters the earth’s atmosphere in a tail-first orientation. The booster engines are then restarted and the booster stage performs a vertical powered landing on the deck of a pre-positioned sea-going platform… After landing, the sea-going platform can be towed… to transport the booster stage back to the coastal launch site or other site for reconditioning and reuse

Read the full story and see more Blue Origin patent diagrams at DesignNews.com

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One Response to “Amazon’s Bezos Patenting ‘Blue Origin’ Spacecraft”

  1. [...] related to recovering space launch vehicles using “landing structure[s] in a body of water.” A lot has been written about this patent application. Many people have decried this application as [...]

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