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Blue Origin Launches, Lands Rocket Booster For First Time

The Blue Origin team celebrates with founder Jeff Bezos at the site of the New Shepard rocket booster landing. Photo: Blue Origin.

Blue Origin successfully launched and landed a rocket for the first time, beating SpaceX to the punch.

Monday’s secret launch from West Texas sent the reusable vehicle, called New Shepard, to about 330,000 feet.

The booster landed about four feet from the launch pad – vertical and intact.

The company’s founder Jeff Bezos says that ability to reuse the booster is “a game changer.”

Another private space company, Space X, wants to reuse its boosters, but previous attempts have been unsuccessful.

Earlier this year Blue Origin announced plans to develop a bigger rocket capable of orbital flight that will launch for Cape Canaveral.

Blue Origin will offer sub-orbital rides on the New Shepard to space tourists, promising four minutes of weightlessness and views from the larger windows to ever fly in space.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »