There is a saying about how third time’s a charm and for Blue Origin, backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, that definitely has a ring of truth to it. Early last month, the space travel company celebrated the third landing of its New Shepard sub-orbital rocket. Along with its third safe landing on terra firma, it was also the rocket’s third flight as well, a major step forward in the quest for reusable commercial flight rockets. While Blue Origin doesn’t have a new launching and landing yet, the company is filling in the gap by releasing a video of the rocket’s April landing, this time from the vantage point of a camera on the rocket itself.
Blue Origin loves to do these “retrospective” camera POV videos. Last February, it released a six-second Vine that showed the landing from a top-down angle from a camera onboard the rocket itself, showing off the fiery blast that would have been the rocket’s undoing had the landing gone wrong. Instead, that blast safely brought the rocket down to earth, to be reused for the third time in April.
The footage this time is less dramatic but still gives a nice angle to the landing. The camera is located just below the rocket’s ring fin. Blue Origin designed its booster with a unique ring at the top for helping to control airflow and fins for better aerodynamic stability. This time, too, the camera is pointed less downward, giving viewers a better view of the rocket’s immediate surroundings as it makes a touchdown.
Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are racing each other for rocket landings, though Blue Origin has beaten the latter to at least two records. It lays claim to being the first of the two to actually land a rocket safely after launch. It is also the first to have been able to reuse such a rocket and land it again, three times even. Though SpaceX enjoy the distinction of landing an orbital rocket rather than just a sub-orbital one like New Shepard, Blue Origin of course aims to repeat its success with higher flying rockets in the very near future.