Blue Origin plans ‘to fly soon’ after FAA closes investigation into 2022 launch failure

Company successfully launched six flights with space tourists before inflight abort during uncrewed mission

One year after a rocket launch failure, Blue Origin is a big step closer to returning tourists to the edge of space.

Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard rocket was grounded in Texas last September when a launch without only science experiments aborted in-flight.

Before the mission, New Shepard had successfully launched six crews of passengers to the edge of space.

During the aborted flight, the onboard computer sensed trouble and safely jettisoned the capsule away from the failing booster.

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“It appears we’ve experienced an anomaly with today’s flight,” a Blue Origin broadcaster said during a livestream of the September 12, 2022 launch. “This wasn’t planned and we don’t have any details yet.”

A year later, the FAA said the malfunctionFAA Closes Blue Origin Mishap Investigation | Federal Aviation Administration

Its final report reads, “During the mishap, the onboard launch vehicle systems detected the anomaly, triggered an abort and separation of the capsule from the propulsion module as intended and shut down the engine.”

Three passengers have been from Central Florida including Steve Young, who owns the restaurant Pineapple’s in Melbourne, and Marc and Sharon Hagle, Winter Park real estate developers who became the first married couple on a commercial spaceflight.

The FAA said it’s ordered Blue Origin to make a total of 21 corrective actions including redesigning engine parts.

While Blue Origin has been grounded, competitor Virgin Galactic successfully started flying space tourists in June.

In its response to the conclusion of the investigation, Blue Origin said it would resume flights soon, but it did not give a date.

First, the FAA said it must implement the corrective actions and Blue Origin has to receive a new launch license.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.