My Blog

Blue Origin pinoints cause of September rocket failure


Six months after its New Shepard rocket suffered a failure during flight, Blue Origin said Friday its review of the incident pinpointed a problem with its engine nozzle and that it is expecting to return to flight “soon.”

In September, the rocket lifted off and flew for just over a minute before bright flames flashed from the booster and the capsule’s emergency abort system kicked in, propelling it away from the rocket. The mission carried only science experiments; no one was on board, and no one was injured on the ground.

In a statement Friday, Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon executive chairman Jeff Bezos, said that it would refly the mission, again carrying scientific payloads. (Bezos owns The Washington Post.) A flight with people could come later. The vehicle is designed to carry as many as six people to the edge of space and back on suborbital tourist trips that allow passengers to experience weightlessness and view the earth from above.

In the statement, Blue Origin said its investigation, which was overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration and included members of the National Transportation Safety Board, concluded that the problem was caused by a failure of the engine nozzle, which experienced “temperatures that exceeded the expected and analyzed values of the nozzle material.”

Engineers are “implementing corrective actions, including design changes to the combustion chamber and operating parameters,” the statement said. “Additional design changes to the nozzle have improved structural performance under thermal and dynamic loads.”

The FAA said in a statement that it is reviewing Blue Origin’s mishap report but that the investigation remains open. “FAA approval is required to close the investigation and for the New Shepard system to return to flight.” It was unclear how long that could take.

While the booster was lost, the capsule and the 36 payloads it was carrying landed safely under parachutes and can fly again, Blue Origin said. The booster, which under normal circumstances falls back to Earth and touches down softly on a landing pad so that it can be reused, was a total loss. The company was able to recover all the debris from the rocket within the designated hazard area, it said.

Bezos flew on the first flight with people in 2021. It had since flown five other missions with people on board, including one with Star Trek actor William Shatner and television commentator Michael Strahan. It has not flown since the September incident.

Related posts

Netflix Mulling $7 to $9 Monthly Price for Ad-Supported Tier, Report Says


Mobile carriers can observe your on-line historical past however you’ll be able to choose out


PGA Tour 2K23 review: You get Tiger Woods, but not memorable courses


Leave a Comment