The flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard has failed, the capsule is safe and sound

The flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard has failed, the capsule is safe and sound

The flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard has failed, the capsule is safe and sound

On Monday, September 12, the suborbital flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule failed. One minute after take-off, the booster malfunctioned which caused the capsule to be ejected immediately. Fortunately, there were no space tourists aboard this flight, just experiments.

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[EN VIDÉO] The first manned flight of the New Shepard
In the space race, Jeff Bezos, accompanied by his brother Wally Funk, an 82-year-old American aviator, and an 18-year-old Dutchman, took off on Tuesday 20 July aboard the New Shepard which covered 100 kilometers of altitude. A success for Blue Origin’s first sightseeing flight.

The flight New Shepherd NS-23 had already been postponed three times due to a weather report unfavorable. This Monday, the capsule is ready booster it was supposed to take off at 3:30 pm Paris time but, on several occasions, the countdown had been suspended, without Blue Origin specifying why. The capsule finally takes off at 4:26 pm, from site number 1 of the Blue Origin Corn Ranch in Texas.

The flight profile was that of a suborbital flight: vertical take-off and ascent to an altitude of 100 km, the international limit of space, then descended below parachute while the booster previously detached during the climb had to land to be reused, the capsule is also reused. Their last flight was in August 2021, with lunar experiences on board.

Engine problem and capsule ejection

About 1 minute and 2 seconds after takeoff, the engine propulsion seemed to have a problem and ejected a large flame. Two seconds later, the BE-3 main engine spits another anomalous flame this time. Just a second later, thecomputer aboard the New Shepard he decides to eject the capsule for safety by igniting a solid propellant motor, very effective in freeing the capsule from the failed booster on the brink of the explosion.

It is flawless in terms of capsule ejection test in case of an explosion, which can reassure passengers on other arriving flights. During an ejection, they will be shaken for a few seconds, but unharmed. In fact, seven and a half minutes after take-off, the capsule lands peacefully under the parachute.

Blue Origin is live from flight NS-23. The New Shepard takes off at 01:20:50

Fortunately, there were no passengers on board. The flight completed 36 experiments, including some from NASA. It is clear that they will not have benefited from the desired conditions.

The next flight may be delayed compared to Blue Origin’s schedule. The company of Jeff Bezos will now shed some light on this booster failure before re-boarding passengers for his tourist flights, and possibly even doing an unmanned flight sooner. Note, however, that the faulty booster was not qualified for manned flight, unlike the others used by Blue Origin for its passenger flights. Blue Origin has had no problems in the past 20 flights.

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