Blue Origin rocket crashes after liftoff, no injuries
Eva Deschamps / September 13, 2022
Blue Origin's rocket launch vehicle crashed shortly after liftoff Monday in West Texas, Jeff Bezos' company announced, saying the capsule may have separated from the rest of the rocket.
Launch vehicle malfunction during unmanned flight today, the company first announced, then said the capsule's ejection system had worked as expected. There were no injuries, Blue Origin said.
A video shows, about a minute after liftoff, the capsule activating its emergency engines and ejecting from the main launcher at full speed, then, accompanied by parachutes, its rough landing.
The video does not show what happened to the launcher, the company writing that it fell to the ground, while in case of success it must return to land upright, smoothly.
The capsule, unmanned, carried only research equipment for this mission entitled New Shepard 23.
The American regulator of the civil aviation, the FAA, announced to have blocked any new takeoff of this rocket the time of the investigation.
The capsule landed safely and the launcher hit the ground in the area dedicated to hazards, wrote the federal agency.
This was the 23rd mission for the company, the first to end in failure. This is a blow for the space tourism company led by the founder of Amazon.
Jeff Bezos himself had participated in the first manned flight of New Shepard in July 2021. Since then, the spacecraft has carried about thirty people, including the actor playing the iconic Captain Kirk of the Star Trek series, William Shatner.
At the beginning of August, the company successfully sent the first Egyptian and the first Portuguese into space, an experiment lasting a few minutes in weightlessness.