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Bezos Rocket Comes Back To Roost

The private spaceflight company Blue Origin – owned by Amazon.Com founder Jeff Bezos – successfully landed a rocket back on Earth for the third time at the weekend.  “Flawless BE-3 restart and perfect booster landing,” Bezos blogged, describing the rocket’s descent and engines re-engaging. “Touchdown confirmed.”

In November, Blue Origin became the first private company to re-land a rocket, launching its New Shepard nearly 63 miles above the Earth and setting it back down vertically at the west Texas site where it took off. In January, the company repeated the feat, and posted video of the landing.

The New Shepard rocket that launched and landed on Saturday had completed the feat before. For the latest launch, Blue Origin re-engaged its engines only 3600ft above the landing platform, leaving a smaller margin for error. It also carried two experiments, on collisions between objects in microgravity and the soil of near-Earth asteroids.

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