On 23 November 2015 Blue Origin wrote its chapter in history of space industry.
It was scheduled launch of New Shepard (New Shepard project and development were described here) with one objective – show reusable technology in practice. On 23 November 2015 at 1121 am CT New Shepard was launched from Blue Origin launch site in Texas. After successful lifting capsule and separation, New Shepard started to fall towards the ground. But this time falling was fully controlled by fins. When New Shepard reach specific speed and height drag boosters were ignited to slow vehicle to 622 km/h. After reigniting BE-3 engine, New Shepard landed safely on deployed skids with speed at 7.1 km/h. Capsule landed correctly on three parachutes. Reusable technology became reality.
Blue Origin surprised with their test flight and scale of the success. BE-3 engine showed again its capabilities – it will surely strength position of Blue Origin on the market and towards their new business partner, ULA (Blue Origin will be providing engines for ULA’s new rocket Vulcan). Blue Origin became leader in reusable technology and in fact establish future standard for space tourism. It is not really important that New Shepard is spacecraft designed to reach orbit not to reach space. It is right now and it is working, just as it was designed to work. It is indisputable success, which achievement was not given for too many in space industry in recent years.