Blue Origin, Led by Bezos, Plans Exciting Comeback with Upcoming Launch in One Week

Blue Origin is aiming to finally conclude a more than 15-month pause in operations of its New Shepard suborbital rocket, with the company announcing today that it will fly an uncrewed mission as early as December 18. The company confirmed the launch on its social media account following a Bloomberg report of an internal email on the new targeted date. The mission, called NS-24, will carry 33 science and research payloads and other cargo. The Federal Aviation Administration formally concluded its investigation into the mishap in September, instructing Blue Origin to implement 21 corrective actions, including redesigning the engine and nozzle components as well as “organizational changes.”This new launch date means that Blue Origin has implemented all the actions and received its modified launch license from the FAA. To date, the vehicle has flown more than 22 times, and has taken 31 people to the edge of space and back (including CEO Jeff Bezos himself).

After a 15-month hiatus, Blue Origin is gearing up to launch their New Shepard suborbital rocket on December 18th. The company took to social media to confirm the news, following a report from Bloomberg about an internal email announcing the new target date for the uncrewed mission, NS-24.

“We are excited to announce that our New Shepard mission will be back in action next month,” the company stated on their Twitter account.

The upcoming launch will carry a total of 33 science and research payloads, as well as other cargo. This will mark the first flight of the New Shepard since September 2022, when an engine nozzle issue caused an abort and led to the destruction of the booster upon reentry. Luckily, the uncrewed capsule safely made its way back to Earth.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concluded their investigation into the mishap in September, issuing 21 corrective actions to be taken by Blue Origin. This includes redesigning certain components of the engine and nozzle, as well as implementing organizational changes.

Now, with all necessary actions implemented and a modified launch license from the FAA in hand, Blue Origin is ready to resume their New Shepard flight program. According to the FAA’s website, the modified license is valid until August 2025 and is limited to launches from Blue Origin’s West Texas facilities.

Despite having ambitious projects in the works, such as the heavy-lift rocket New Glenn and the lunar lander Blue Moon, the New Shepard remains the only operational program at Blue Origin. So far, the vehicle has completed 22 successful flights and has taken 31 individuals, including CEO Jeff Bezos, to the edge of space and back.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of our New Shepard program and are excited to continue pushing the boundaries of space travel,” said Bezos in a statement.

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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