Amazon's Jeff Bezos has beaten Tesla's Elon Musk in the race to develop a reusable rocket. The Amazon chief's rocket the New Shepard space vehicle consisting of a crew capsule and the BE-3 rocket blasted off into space on November 23. It reached a suborbital height of around 100.5 kilometers off the earth's surface.
That was when the real story started to happen. The crew capsule and the BE-3 separated and landed separately back onto the earth. The crew capsule deployed parachutes but the BE-3 settled back onto earth under its own power.
Tesla Motors CEO Musk first tweeted out his congratulations to Bezos and the New Shepard team.
Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL on their booster— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015
However, he was quick to remind the public that Bezos had only gone into space and not into orbit. His SpaceX company and Boeing have been awarded contracts from NASA to carry astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX already carries supplies to ISS.
It is, however, important to clear up the difference between "space" and "orbit", as described well by https://t.co/7PD42m37fZ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015