Blue Origin Makes First Launch Since Failed 2022 Mission

Email Headline: GO For Launch – They Finally DID IT

Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin successfully launched its first rocket since its failed launch last September, the Associated Press reported.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard unmanned rocket lifted off in West Texas on December 19 carrying a capsule full of tests, many of which had been aboard the failed September 2022 launch that crashed after experiencing engine trouble.

In last Tuesday’s launch, the capsule aboard the rocket made it to the fringes of space, leaving the tests from NASA and other researchers weightless for a few minutes before parachuting down to the desert.

The New Shepherd rocket landed first after it released the capsule. During the 10-minute flight, the rocket reached an altitude of 66 miles.

During last year’s attempted launch, the rocket veered off course after liftoff, prompting the escape system to activate, catapulting the capsule. While the capsule was able to return safely to Earth, the rocket crashed.

The fault was traced to a rocket engine nozzle that overheated and broke apart. Changes were made to the design of the nozzles and combustion chambers to correct the problem.

For nearly 20 years, Blue Origin has been launching rockets from the remote area of West Texas southeast of El Paso. It launched its first NASA experiments in 2019 and sent up its first passengers, including Bezos and his brother, in 2021.

The second Blue Origin crew launched a few months later included “Star Trek” actor William Shatner.

Thus far, Blue Origin has launched rockets six times. In addition to taking 31 passengers into space, the rockets have also conducted brief 10-minute flights like the one last week for testing and research.

The New Shepherd rocket is named for the first US astronaut in space, Alan Shepherd.

Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket, named for John Glenn the first US astronaut to orbit the earth, is designed to reach orbit and is expected to make its debut launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida sometime in 2024.