Blue Origin launched and landed its New Shepard rocket for the third time on Saturday, reaching an apogee of 103 km, according to a company statement.
The company said it “pushed the envelope” on this flight, restarting the engine for the propulsive landing 3,600 feet above the ground, requiring the BE-3 engine to start fast and ramp to high thrust fast. The New Shepard contained the same hardware as it did on the two previous flights.
Launch took place at Blue Origin’s west Texas launch site. The company said the rocket’s crew capsule landed back on earth at roughly 1.3 mph under parachute assistance. The New Shepard booster relit at 3,635 feet above ground level and landed at 4.8 mph, according to video posted on Blue Origin’s website. The rocket landed about as close to the center of the launch pad as possible.