The Blue Origin team recover the crew capsule after its successful flight

Blue Origin achieves 'perfect' third rocket landing

Blue Origin, the space company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has launched and successfully landed its third rocket.

"Perfect booster landing," Bezos wrote on Twitter. Blue Origin declined to comment on the test, but said on Twitter, "Congrats Blue team on today's [flight]!"

The New Shepard rocket and capsule blasted off from a launch site in West Texas on Saturday at an undisclosed time and landed minutes later back at a landing pad, the company said. The capsule, which was flying autonomously, parachuted to a nearby site and was recovered.

The rocket launched through clear skies to reach a height of 103,369 meters. The engine that powers the rocket restarted 1,108 meters above ground level "and ramped fast for a successful landing", the company said.

Blue Origin first achieved such a feat in November before repeating it with the exact same launcher earlier this year. 

The successful landing of the rocket represents a major step towards reusability which is expected to considerably slash the cost of space travel.

Last month, the company announced that it intends to take on its first human passengers in 2018 which marked the first time that Blue Origin has set a target date for the beginning of commercial space flight.

Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX are among a handful of companies working to develop rockets that can fly themselves back to Earth so they can be refurbished and flown again.

For now, Blue Origin is flying suborbital rockets, which lack the speed to put spacecraft into orbit around Earth.

SpaceX finally launched a communications satellite into orbit after repeated delays last month but the operation’s planned landing on a barge in the middle of the ocean failed and the rocket was destroyed.

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