- Tram Ho
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and three other passengers flew to the edge of space on his company’s rocket, ushering in a new era for space tourism.
But what caught everyone’s attention most of this billion-dollar flight was the round and blunt shape of the New Shepard rocket’s head – a stark contrast to the pointed design commonly found in rockets. This made netizens wonder: Is it a dominant play of Mr. Jeff Bezos or is there a deeper meaning behind it?
But according to industry experts, it’s no coincidence that the New Shepard rocket’s shape looks like a giant sausage bar. According to Pedro Llanos, an engineer and professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, this special design will help optimize the space in the cabin to carry up to 6 people into the space as well as maximize the capacity. stability of the rocket upon its return to Earth.
Unlike the arrowheads found on other rockets, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket looks like a sausage with a rounded and blunt tip.
” The main reason for this design is because Jeff Bezos’ primary goal is to send people into space, so everything revolves around getting 4 to 6 people in the cabin and maximizing the space. in it .” Llanos said. His team sent crates into space during New Shepard rocket launches in 2017 and 2019.
Also with the goal of providing a different travel experience for passengers, according to Mr. Llanos, ” Jeff wanted to have the largest windows in the space so that everyone had the best experience .” That explains why the size of the compartment is made wide and the window is so large.
Technical benefits of sausage bar design
According to Llanos, Blue Origin engineers experimented with more than 100 different designs for the shape of the capsule – or passenger compartment – before starting with a wide design at the bottom and tapering at the side. above.
Since the capsule will be the first to penetrate the air when the New Shepard rocket takes off, this round and wide tip shape will help reduce the drag of the air on the rocket. ” Most round surfaces will have lower tensile strength than flat surfaces, ” NASA itself said.
In addition, this passenger compartment also needs stability after separating from the New Shepard booster in the atmosphere and falling back to Earth within 4 minutes before parachuting and bringing Mr. Bezos and 3 other passengers. landed safely on the ground. That’s why the engineers designed the bottom of the capsule to be so wide.
” The wider the bottom, the better it lands, ” said Jonathn McDowell, an astronaut at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A pointed arrow-shaped capsule would not have such stability upon landing.
To go higher, the rocket must be slimmer
Like most rockets, the New Shepard uses a propellant propellant to propel the passenger compartment into space.
Designed with low-space travel in mind around the Earth, the New Shepard’s passenger compartment features wide dimensions and large windows.
The higher the rocket wants to go, the more fuel it will need to hold. That’s why SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which is currently being used to carry people and equipment to the ISS space station, is much larger than the New Shepard, which was designed only to get to the edge. space.
But perhaps in the future, commercial trips to space will have a different, slimmer design. Blue Origin’s next rocket – called the New Glenn – will look more like a bullet than a sausage.
” It will be lengthened and tapered to be able to withstand a larger payload, ” said Mr. Llanos.
But the New Glenn rocket is designed to go into Earth orbit and back, instead of just stopping at the edge of space like New Shepard today. Unlike its predecessor, the New Glenn rocket will have a pointed tip like a cone, which means that the New Shepard will be the only missile with the obtuse circular design above. It fits Jeff Bezos’ current goals, but to go further into space in the future, Blue Origin will need a rocket with a different design.
Consult Business Insider
Source : Genk