TLDR: Blue Origin experienced a launch vehicle failure during a scheduled launch Monday morning, prompting the unmanned crew capsule to lift off from the launch vehicle. Fortunately, there were no crew members on board this flight. The capsule returned to Earth using parachutes and landed in the desert. The landing looked a bit rough live, but we need to see flight data to determine exactly how hard it hit.
The launch window for the 23rd New Shepard mission opened at 8:30 a.m. CT. The launch took place at 10:26 a.m. from the Blue Origin One launch pad in West Texas, and everything went smoothly at first. The booster failure occurred just over a minute after the start of the flight, when the New Shepard reached max q, when the aerodynamic load on the vehicle reaches its maximum.
anomaly the capsule escape system worked, which reliably separated the crew capsule from the launch vehicle. The separation occurred at about 28,000 feet, when the New Shepard was approaching 700 miles per hour.
The mission was a dedicated payload flight that delivered 36 payloads from academia, research institutions and students from around the world. Blue Origin said 18 of the in-flight payloads were funded by NASA, and another consisted of tens of thousands of postcards from the nonprofit Blue Origin.
The live broadcast host went silent as the event played out. “Looks like we had an anomaly with today’s flight,” the host said after about a minute. “It was unplanned and we don’t have any details yet. But our crewed capsule was able to successfully escape. We will follow her progress through the landing. pulled out the next one.
Eric Berger, senior space editor at Ars Technica, said that if a crew had been on board, they would have felt a major jolt, but would otherwise be safe.
To date, Blue Origin has flown six crewed missions, the last of which took place on August 4, 2022. Several celebrities, including William Shatner, Michael Strahan and founder Jeff Bezos, have taken a trip to the edge of space thanks to Blue Origin.
Blue Origin later confirmed on Twitter that the booster had failed, adding that the evacuation system worked as intended.