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Earlier this week, Jeff Bezos finally made his long-awaited journey to the edge of space. Watch it below:
But while the former Amazon CEO was focused on the journey, those watching on from Earth were more concerned by the the shape of the New Shepherd rocket ship in which he was travelling.
With a large, mushroom-shaped head, and a long, thin shaft, it left many of us asking the exact same question: why does it look like a massive penis?
Well, experts from the scientific world have now offered their suggestions, and it would seem that it's not as weird as you'd think.
Speaking to the Guardian, Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said: "There's a long history of what we call hammerhead rockets.
"If you're careful, it actually has perfectly fine aerodynamics."
He explained that the New Shepherd had a "big, flat bottom" because it's essential when it comes to the rocket returning to Earth.
And while its fairly blunt and bulbous head caused many of us to chuckle, Laura Forczyk, the owner of the space analytics company Astralytical, said it was designed to "maximize the interior volume".
That, McDowell explained, is also why the ridge around the 'head' of the rocket's tip was so pronounced, too.
This was there for the "ring-shaped fin", which was vital for re-entry, counteracting an opposing fin at the bottom of the rocket.
But while he says there is clear scientific reasoning behind the design, even McDowell admits that it's unlikely Bezos and his team were naïve about it either.
He said: "They can't not have noticed.
"You've got to imagine there was a meeting where someone went, 'Do you really want to fly looking like this?' But I'm guessing an engineer got up and said, 'This is what the math says. This is the optimum configuration. So this is what we're gonna fly'."
And Forczyk said that when it came to the booster, a thinner option was just logical.
"It is easier to balance a long and skinny cylinder than it is to balance a thicker, fatter cylinder," she said.
Astrophysicist Scott Manley added: "They went through a lot of iterations coming up with the perfect shape to give them the most volume, the best windows, and [a design that] wouldn't kill anyone onboard.
"And this is the shape they came up with, this dome shape."
Alongside Bezos on the historic flight was his brother Mark, Wally Funk - one of 13 female pilots who went through the same tests as Nasa's Mercury 7 astronauts in the early 1960s but never made it into space because only men were allowed - and Oliver Daemen.
The latter is an 18-year-old physics student who took the place of a $28 million auction winner who was too busy to make the trip.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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