Blue Origin relaunched, landed the rocket it landed last year

The rivalry between Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX has just entered another chapter. Last November, Blue Origin stole SpaceX's thunder by claiming the title of being the first to successfully land a rocket back from space, albeit sub orbital space. Now, it has once more beaten Musk's company to the punch. Not only was it able to launch the New Shepard booster that it was able to land in one piece last year, it was able to land it again, and in one piece again, ready for launching again.

That's a lot of "agains", but the repetitiveness is actually the whole point. Reusable rockets are what both Blue Origin and SpaceX are after. As company backed by Bezos says in the video below, when you're planning to ferry people into space, for work or for leisure, you can't throw the hardware away every time. You have to launch, land, and repeat.

Blue Origin has the title of the first sub-orbital rocket landing and re-launching. That means that, compared to SpaceX's Falcon 9, New Shepard made its achievements in slightly lower altitudes. That said, for this second attempt, the booster reached a slightly higher height. Last November, it flew to 329,839 ft before it started its descent. This time around, it got up to 333,582 ft.

Of course, Blue Origin won't be sticking to mere sub-orbital launches. The ultimate goal is always an orbital launch. The company envisions that in three years time, it will be ready. It's not going big immediately, however, admitting that its orbital craft will probably be the small. But compared to this current booster, it will be many times larger.

And while SpaceX is obsessing over landing its rockets at sea, Blue Origin seems more confident on land. It will, however, be doing something different. Instead of forcing the rocket to land right in the dead center of a landing pad, it will allow it to land a bit off center, prioritizing the vehicle attitude and avoiding last minute mishaps that might be caused by forcibly steering the rocket to a perfect, precise position.

SOURCE: Blue Origin