A Failure on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Rocket Occurs Seconds After an Unmanned Launch

Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard rocket launch in West Texas was canceled shortly after takeoff; this was the company’s first significant setback since switching to routine commercial flights.

A variety of payloads were carried on Monday’s voyage, which had no passengers on board. However, a similar variant of the same spacecraft is frequently used to transport paying passengers to the edge of space and back. The incident will be investigated, according to the American Federal Aviation Administration.

The failure’s specifics remain a secret. The emergency abort mechanism activated after the New Shepard rocket appeared to experience an engine issue and stray off track just over a minute after liftoff.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin suffers first launch failure
New York Post

Erika Wagner, senior director of new space markets, said during Blue Origin’s live stream of the launch, “This wasn’t anticipated, and we don’t have any details yet.” “However, our crew capsule made it out safely.”

When the rocket failed, the payload-carrying capsule on top of it lit up its thrusters and immediately disengaged from the rocket.

Under parachutes, the capsule landed securely. If there were passengers on the rocket after a launch failure, a similar abort strategy would be employed to save them.

You can see how today, in an off-nominal circumstance, our backup safety systems intervened to protect our payload, according to Wagner. “At Blue Origin, safety is our first priority.”

After the capsule landed in the desert, Blue Origin cut the livestream of the launch short. Additional information, according to a Blue Origin official, would be shared on Twitter.

This specific New Shepard booster had nine planned flights before it. The rocket of the reusable New Shepard is made to land upright following a successful launch.

With the exception of one partial failure early in its testing campaign, the booster has had almost flawless flying performance up until this point.

For Blue Origin, this was the first all-payload New Shepard flight since August 2021. Since Bezos, the company’s founder, was sent into space by Blue Origin in July 2021, passengers have regularly travelled aboard New Shepard.

In a collective piece published in September, a collection of current and former Blue Origin workers alleged that the company had a hazardous work environment and safety violations.

The FAA reviews incidents on space flights, but Congress has prevented it from enacting safety regulations beyond protecting bystanders who are not directly involved in the incident. The FAA, which licences commercial launches, said in a statement Monday that it would oversee the investigation of the New Shepard “mishap.”

The booster landed in a “hazard” region, however the FAA claimed that no injuries or damage to public property had been reported. “The FAA will ascertain whether any system, process, or technique linked to the incident had an impact on public safety before the New Shepard vehicle can resume flying,” according to the statement.