Blue Origin Rocket Fails Spectacularly Midway Through Flight – Jettisoning Its Capsule In The Process

Blue Origin had to abort its latest uncrewed mission mid-flight.

The company’s New Shepard capsule had several science experiments to a planned height of just over 60 miles — the internationally recognized edge of space — when it had to suddenly fire its abort motor escape system almost a minute after launching from the company’s launch pad in West Texas.

It is a good thing that nobody was on board, and the capsule made a soft landing after the plug was pulled. However, it could have been gruesome if there were people on it.

“Booster failure on today’s uncrewed flight,” the company said in the wake of the incident. “Escape system performed as designed.”

The company has used the platform to launch several crews, including high-profile celebrities, to the edge of space.

The cause of this is still unknown.

The feed shows the capsule and booster light up in a fiery but likely intentional explosion, around 1:21:50 into the livestream), as the capsule was jettisoned from its booster to gain distance.

The company will release information on what happened — or what happened to its booster.

“We’re responding to an issue this morning at our Launch Site One location in West Texas,” the company tweeted. “More information to come as it is available.”

The capsule itself, however, seems to have survived with its payload stored inside, gently making its way back to the surface with the help of its landing parachutes.

In other words, Blue Origin’s redundant systems in the case of launch failure appear to have worked — the best-case scenario, given the circumstances.

“You can see how our backup systems kicked in today,” the host of the company’s webcast said, “to keep our payloads safe during an off-nominal situation.”

“A good reminder (that I needed) that no rocket launch is routine,” Bloomberg space reporter Loren Grush wrote.

“Sometimes rockets fail — that’s when emergency systems have to work,” retired Canadian astronaut legend Chris Hadfield tweeted. “Glad no one was hurt.”

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