Blue Origin to launch its reusable rocket a third time

Blue Origin, the private space agency owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has revealed that for a third time it will be launching its reusable rocket later today, followed of course by another successful landing attempt. "Working to fly again tomorrow. Same vehicle. Third time. #LaunchLandRepeat," Bezos tweeted on Friday, indicating that they will be using the same New Shepard rocket that has already been launched and made a soft landing on two separate occasions.

The exact time of the launch hasn't been shared yet, but Bezos also said there would be plenty of drone cameras present, so we're likely to see plenty of footage once the event is complete. Interestingly, this is the first time Blue Origin has revealed a launch before hand, with the November and January landings held in secret and only announced afterwards with a flashy video.

This launch is also significant in that there is a secondary purpose beside the New Shepard simply making a safe landing. Two microgravity experiments will be conducted on the rocket as it departs Earth's surface, allowing Blue Origin to carry out scientific research during flight.

The first is called the Box of Rocks Experiment (BORE), being performed by the Southwest Research Institute, which aims to simulate rocky soil on the surface of an asteroid.

The second is the University of Central Florida's Collisions Into Dust Experiment (COLLIDE), which will capture video of a pile of dust being struck by a marble during low gravity, in order to study how the particles will disperse.

Bezos noted that the rocket's landing will see a few changes this time as well, including the use of new control systems software for the one of the crew capsule's. The other difference is that upon decent, the rocket will restart its engines "fast at high thrust" just 3,600 feet above the ground. Should the engines fail to start at that point, it will be a mere six seconds before the rocket collides with Earth's surface.

SOURCE Jeff Bezos/Twitter 1, 2