Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, has beat Elon Musk’s SpaceX to the punch when it comes to vertically landing a rocket, after Blue Origin’s recent New Shepard space vehicle launch.
During the test, a BE-3 rocket and crew capsule were launched to a height of 62 miles before the capsule eventually made a controlled landing under a parachute.
The BE-3 rocket made a controlled descent upon its own rockets firing at 5,000 feet, where it was able to ultimately successfully complete a vertical landing at merely 4.4 mph.
Bezos explained that the rocket “flew a flawless mission — soaring to 329,839 feet and then returning through 199-mph high-altitude crosswinds to make a gentle, controlled landing just four-and-a-half feet from the center of the pad.”
He added that, “now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas, [the BE-3] is the rarest of beasts—a used rocket.”