Blue Origin is a private spaceflight company owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos and they have just recently launched a prototype reusable rocket into space. Said rocket landed safely back on Earth recently in what could only be described as an epic third successful test flight in less than five months.
Blue Origin Completes Third Successful Test for Reusable Rocket
In a recent unmanned test, the Shepard rocket and capsule from Blue Origin launched into suborbital space from the firm’s West Texas test site. Said site is the proving ground for the company’s reusable boosters. When the rocket hit space, the capsule separated and returned to Earth through the use of a parachute, while the rocket portion descended on a plume of fire to stick its third successful vertical landing to-date.
Jeff Bezos sent out a tweet at 11:18 am EDT stating, “Flawless BE-3 restart and perfect booster landing.” The tweet was in reference to Blue Origin’s New Shepard and its BE-3 rocket engine. The owner also confirmed the crew capsule parachutes were successfully deployed, after which tweeted once more about it. The following tweet contained, “[Crew capsule] touchdown confirmed.” Bezos promised a video of the launch, which will include aerial views. Said clip would be released as soon as it is processed.
The test flight was announced on April 1st, but it was not a part of any April Fools’ joke. Said test flight was then made on Saturday, April 2, 2016. It also marked the third vertical launch and landing demonstration by the company’s New Shepard rocket and capsule ever since the booster made its first successful vertical landing back in November 23 of last year. The second time it made a successful landing was back on January 22 of this year.
The private spaceflight company plans to use the technology for their rocket and capsule to launch paying passengers on trips to space. However, they have not yet announced how much it will cost. The New Shepard rocket and capsule can carry up to six people inside the cabin into space. However, it should be noted that the altitude will not be high enough to reach orbit. It will only fly up until suborbital altitudes, which will be a bit higher than the 62-mile boundary between Earth and space. After which, it will descend back to Earth via a parachute.
During the test flight made by Blue Origin, it also packed two science experiments onboard the Crew Capsule. One experiment brought a box of rocks to measure how the rocks move in weightlessness, and the other was called the Collisions in Dust Experiment. The latter experiment was created by researchers at the University of Central Florida, and it included a marble that will be dropped into a bed of dust. This is to study how collisions are made between particles in the early solar system.