Jeff Bezos and his private spaceflight agency Blue Origin are now three-for-three in successfully launching and landing their reusable rocket into space. Their New Shepard rocket — the same one that was launched and landed in November and again in January — repeated the feat once again on Saturday morning, lifting off at 11:18 AM Eastern. Bezos tweeted updates as the event took place, noting that the landing was “perfect.”
Blue Origin hasn’t released any video of the test flight yet, but Bezos said that there were plenty of drones present to capture aerial footage of the event. The launch and landing attempt was only announced the day before, along with few details about how this flight would differ from the previous two, making it the first time the space agency has revealed a launch beforehand.
This time around Blue Origin only restarted the rocket’s engines for landing a mere 3,600 feet above the ground, leaving far less time to impact should there be any errors. New software was also tested for the crew capsule, which disconnects on the way back to Earth, landing with the use of a parachute while the rocket touches down in a vertical position.
The New Shepard rocket was also loaded with two microgravity experiments, one to simulate the surfaces of asteroids, and another to study impacts and particle dispersal in low-gravity.