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The Real Reason Blue Origin's Rocket Looks... Like That
People couldn’t help but immediately laugh when they saw the rocket ship Jeff Bezos built, and Blue Origin’s New Shepard quickly became the butt of endless Internet memes, Saturday Night Live skits, and late-night talk show jabs. Believe it or not, there are several scientific reasons why the rocket looks so much…like that.
According to engineers, most rockets are phallic-shaped because there’s not much that comprises a sub-orbital ship: at the top is a mushroom-shaped capsule, followed by several fuel tanks stacked atop one another, with the engine at the bottom. Plus, the shape of a rocket has to be aerodynamic to reduce drag, in the same way common projectiles like bullets do.
However, Blue Origin’s New Shepard is even more phallic-looking for other reasons besides being the best design choice. The fuel tanks were more slender than other rockets, since it was only traveling to the Kármán line, some 62 miles above the Earth's surface, while the bulbous capsule’s cabin was optimized for leg room and the best viewing experience.