A booster misfire caused an early end today for an uncrewed suborbital space mission launched by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture.
It was the first Blue Origin mission to fall short of its goal since the first flight of the company’s New Shepard suborbital spaceship in 2015. Blue Origin didn’t immediately say what caused today’s anomaly. The Federal Aviation Administration said it would oversee an investigation into the mishap and would eventually have to sign off on Blue Origin’s return to flight.
No people were aboard the spacecraft. Instead, this mission was dedicated to scientific payloads and STEM education. The New Shepard spaceship carried 36 payloads, half of which were funded by NASA, plus tens of thousands of postcards that were sent in by students and flown courtesy of Blue Origin’s educational foundation. the Club for the Future.
This was the first dedicated payload launch since August 2021, coming amid a string of six crewed suborbital flights that saw 31 customers and special guests (including Bezos himself) go to space and back.