Blue Origin’s suffered its first launch failure on Monday. The flight was unmanned and carried only science experiments. The New Shepard launch scheduled for 10:26 AM ET, experienced a booster failure about a minute after the lift-off. The capsule’s launch abort system functioned as designed and it parachuted on the desert floor.
The accident happened as the rocket was flying at around 700 mph at a height of about 28,000 feet. After the failure, only a video of the capsule was shown, not one of the rocket. It is evident that this time the rocket did not land upright as it usually does on the desert floor before being recycled for later missions.
The livestream showed the spacecraft reaching a maximum altitude of more over 37,000 feet, according to launch commentator Erika Wagner. On board were 36 experiments, half of which were funded by NASA.
The New Shepard programme, named after the first American in space, Alan Shepard, flew for the 23rd time. For ten-minute trips to the edge of space, paying guests have been transported using the same type of rocket and capsule. It was this rocket’s ninth flight.