Just over a minute after liftoff on Monday, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket with no crew aboard failed.
A video of the launch showed the rocket exploding into flames at a height of about twenty-nine thousand feet. The New Shepard rocket was launched from the West Texas site of Blue Origin. Later, the capsule that was atop the booster rocket separated and fell to the earth by parachute.
The New Shepard rocket was launching goods to the farthest reaches of space in order to conduct research.
A “booster failure” on the trip, according to Blue Origin, activated the escape system, the company announced on Twitter. The rocket and capsule “successfully separated,” the SpaceX business added.
Booster failure on today’s uncrewed flight. Escape system performed as designed. pic.twitter.com/xFDsUMONTh
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) September 12, 2022
Since it began offering commercial services to the general public in 2021, billionaire Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company has experienced just one significant incident.
FAA Looking Into Blue Origin Incident
The incident is being looked into by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which described it as a “mishap” in a statement to Insider.
FAA said, “The capsule landed safely and the booster impacted within the designated hazard area. No injuries or public property damage have been reported.”
FAA added that “before the New Shepard vehicle can return to flight, the FAA will determine whether any system, process, or procedure related to the mishap affected public safety. This is standard practice for all mishap investigations.”
The fourth New Shepard mission of 2022 was the first launch without humans aboard in more than a year. Under Blue Origin’s suborbital space tourism program, the rocket-capsule system has carried thirty-one passengers in total. Paying customers are flown approximately sixty-two miles into space for a brief period of time in microgravity before their capsule descends to earth using parachute systems.
The founder of Amazon (AMZN.O), billionaire Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000, was one of the first people to board New Shepard on its inaugural crewed trip in 2021.
It was unclear whether the eight previous flights of the rocket that crashed on Monday involved any humans. Prior to its first crewed flight, Blue Origin completed fifteen flights of New Shepard.