LThe Blue Origin rocket launcher crashed shortly after takeoff in West Texas on Monday, Jeff Bezos’ company said, adding that the capsule was able to separate from the rest of the rocket.
“Launcher malfunction during unmanned flight today,” the company first announced, then adding that the capsule ejection system had worked as expected. “There were no injuries,” said Blue Origin. A video shows the hard landing of the capsule but not the rest of the rocket, which crashed. “There were no injuries,” said Blue Origin.
The capsule, unmanned, carried only research equipment for this mission entitled “New Shepard 23”. The American civil aviation regulator, the FAA, has announced that it has blocked any further take-off of this rocket while the investigation is ongoing. “The capsule landed safely and the launcher touched down in the hazard zone,” the agency wrote.
It was the 23rd mission for the company, the first to end in failure. It is a blow for the space tourism company led by the founder of Amazon.
Jeff Bezos had himself participated in the first manned flight of New Shepard in July 2021. Since then, the machine has transported around thirty people, including the actor playing the emblematic captain Kirk of the Star Trek series, William Shatner.
In early August, the company had successfully sent the first Egyptian and the first Portuguese into space, an experience of a few minutes in weightlessness.