The Blue Origin rocket launcher crashed shortly after takeoff Monday in West Texas, Jeff Bezos’ company said, adding that the capsule was able to separate from the rest of the rocket.
“Today the launcher malfunctioned during unmanned flight,” the company announced, adding that the capsule ejection system had worked as expected. A video shows the hard landing of the capsule but not the rest of the rocket, which crashed. “There were no injuries,” Blue Origin said.
No take off during the investigation
A video shows, about a minute after take-off, the capsule activating its emergency engines and ejecting from the main launcher at full speed, then, accompanied by the parachute, its hard landing.
The video does not show what happened to the pitcher, the company writes that he “fell to the ground”, while in case of success he has to get back on his feet, gently. The unmanned capsule carried only research equipment for this mission titled “New Shepard 23”.
The US civil aviation regulator, the FAA, has announced that it has blocked any further takeoff of this rocket while investigations are ongoing. “The capsule landed safely and the launcher landed in the danger zone,” the agency wrote.
First mission that ends in failure
It was the company’s 23rd mission, the first to end in failure. It’s a blow to the space tourism company led by the founder of Amazon.
Jeff Bezos himself had participated in New Shepard’s first manned flight in July 2021. Since then, the car has carried around thirty people, including most notably the actor who plays the series’ emblematic Captain Kirk. star TrekWilliam Shatner.
In early August, the company had successfully sent the first Egyptian and the first Portuguese into space, an experience of just a few minutes in zero gravity.