Jeff Bezos has succeeded in realizing his dream to fly into space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. But netizens on social media instead focus on seeing the shape of the New Shepard rocket that looks like a genital.
The New Shepard rocket itself consists of two parts, namely the capsule at the top that looks like a mushroom, and the booster that supports it. The capsule is a little more inflated than most rockets, but this is nothing unique.
“There is a long history of what we call hammerhead rockets where the diameter of the capsule is wider than that of the booster,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
“If you’re careful, this (shape) actually has very good aerodynamics,” he continued.
Just like in the nose of a passenger plane or fighter plane, rocket capsules also come in various forms. The New Shepard capsule itself is designed to maximize the volume of the cabin interior so that it can accommodate six passengers and the bottom is made flat so that it can land stably.
“They went through many iterations to come up with the perfect shape to provide the most volume, the best windows, and a design that wouldn’t kill anyone inside. And this is the shape they chose, this dome shape,” said astrophysicist Scott Manley.
As for the booster, Blue Origin technicians had to minimize its mass and make its size as small as possible to make it easier to control. Due to the need for a large cabin space and a more stable booster design, finally the capsule size was forced to be made larger than the booster.
This combination makes the shape of the New Shepard rocket look like a cock, whether intentional or not.
“You can imagine having a meeting where someone asks, ‘Do you really want to fly looking like this?’ But I think a technician replied, ‘This is the exact count. This is the optimal configuration. So this is what we’re going to fly,'” McDowell said.
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