Just over a minute into flight Blue Origin’s NS23 mission has hit a snag. The snag triggered an abort system, which jettisoned the crew capsule away from the rocket, which then safely parachuted down on Earth.

Blue Origin blamed the close shave on a booster failure on the uncrewed flight and added “Escape system performed as designed.”

Fortunately, no humans were aboard the spacecraft which was going into space with 36 science payload. This was the 23rd launch for Blue Origin, which this year has conducted multiple launches with tourists going on a brief joyride to space.

Watch New Shepard survives close shave midair

The mission was initially planned to launch on August 31, but was repeatedly delayed due to technical and weather issues. The mission on Monday lifted off from Launch Site One in West Texas. This was the fourth flight for the New Shepard program this year, the first dedicated payload flight since NS-17 in August 2021, and the ninth flight for the vehicle being used this time.

While two of the payloads going up on New Shepard were flying on the exterior of the New Shepard booster for ambient exposure to the space environment, 18 others were funded by Nasa under the Flight Opportunities program.

Meanwhile, 24 payloads were from K-12 schools, universities, and STEM-focused organizations, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), and SHAD Canada STEM Foundation


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