Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin suffers its first launch failure

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company suffered its first failed launch on Monday. No one was on board, only science experiments.

The Blue Origin rocket lifted off from West Texas and was barely a minute into the flight when bright yellow flames erupted around the single engine at the bottom. The capsule’s emergency launch abort system immediately triggered, lifting the craft off the top. A few minutes later, the capsule parachuted onto the remote desert floor.

The rocket crashed to Earth with no injuries or damage, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Although this New Shepard rocket was dedicated to flight experiments, it was the same type used to launch people on 10-minute journeys to the far reaches of space. The rocket is grounded pending the outcome of an investigation, said the FAA, which is in charge of public safety during commercial space launches and landings.

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Blue Origin’s launch commentary remained silent as the capsule blasted off the rocket on Monday morning, finally announcing, “It appears we encountered an anomaly with today’s flight. This was not expected. “

This image provided by Blue Origin shows a capsule containing science experiments after a failed launch on September 12, 2022. Jeff Bezos’ rocket company suffered its first failed launch. No one was on board, only science experiments. (Blue Origin via AP/AP Newsroom)

“Booster failure on today’s uncrewed flight. Evacuation system worked as expected,” the Kent, Wash.-based company tweeted nearly an hour later.

No other details were provided by the company.

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The crash happened as the rocket was traveling at nearly 700 mph at an altitude of around 28,000 feet. No video of the rocket – only the capsule – was shown after the failure. This happened around the point where the rocket is under maximum pressure, called max-q.

The rocket usually lands upright on the desert floor and then is recycled for future flights.

The webcast showed the capsule reaching a maximum altitude of over 37,000 feet. Thirty-six experiments were on board, half of them sponsored by NASA. Most were created by students.

It was the 23rd flight for the New Shepard program, named after the first American in space, Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, and the ninth flight for this particular rocket-capsule pair.

Blue Origin’s most recent theft with paying customers only happened last month; the ticket price has not been published. Bezos was part of New Shepard’s first crew last year. In total, Blue Origin transported 31 people, including actor William Shatner.

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The rocket should have been launched nearly two weeks ago, but was grounded until Monday by bad weather.

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