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Blue Origin Launches and Lands New Shepard for the Third Time

By Caleb Henry | April 4, 2016
      Blue Origin New Shepard

      The third return trip of Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard launch vehicle. Photo: Blue Origin

      [Via Satellite 04-04-2016] Blue Origin completed the third successful flight of the company’s New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle on April 2, reaching an apogee of 339,178 feet or 103 kilometers. During the test, Blue Origin restarted the engine for the propulsive landing only 3,600 feet above the ground, requiring a quick start and ramp up of the BE-3 engine to achieve a high thrust. The propulsion module slowed to 4.8 miles per hour (MPH), or 7.7 kilometers per hour (kph) to land safely.

      Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, tweeted that the flight also demonstrated a new Radar Cross Section (RCS) algorithm for the crew module, and carried two university microgravity experiments. Blue Origin first launched and landed New Shepard in November 2015, and demonstrated reusability of the system in again in January this year.