The Blue Origin rocket launcher crashed shortly after takeoff Monday in West Texas, Jeff Bezos said, adding that the capsule was able to separate from the rest of the rocket.
“The launcher malfunctioned during a drone flight today,” the company first announced, then added that the capsule’s ejection system worked as expected.
“There were no injuries,” Blue Origin said.
France Press agency
A video clip shows, about a minute after takeoff, the capsule activating its emergency engines and exiting the main launch pad at full speed, then escorted by parachutes, and its hard landing.
The video does not show what happened to the launcher, as the company wrote that he “fallen to the ground”, while if he succeeds, he must return to standing upright gently.
The capsule, unmanned, carried research equipment for this mission titled “New Shepard 23”.
The US civil aviation regulator, the FAA, announced that it prevented any further take-off of this missile during the investigation.
“The capsule landed safely and the launcher landed in the danger zone,” the agency wrote.
It was the company’s twenty-third mission, and the first that ended in failure. It’s a blow to the space tourism company led by the Amazon founder.
Jeff Bezos had himself participated in the first manned flight of the New Shepherd in July 2021. Since then, the machine has transported about thirty people, including the actor who played the iconic Captain Kirk from the Star Trek series, William Shatner.
In early August, the company successfully sent the first Egyptian and the first Portuguese into space, an experiment that lasted a few minutes in weightlessness.
“Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek.”