Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket May Fly Soon Following Closing of FAA Investigation Written 29 September 2023


New Shepard on the launch pad. | Blue Origin–©

The Orlando (FL) Sentinel reports that on Wednesday, the FAA “said it had closed its investigation into the flight of an uncrewed Blue Origin New Shepard rocket that ended with its booster destroyed and a capsule that had to use its emergency escape system.” The September 12, 2022, “mishap” was due to a “structural failure of an engine nozzle caused by higher than expected engine operating temperatures,” according to a release from the FAA. With the nozzle too hot, it “caused a trajectory change about one minute after liftoff from Blue Origin’s West Texas launch site.” The capsule on the NS-23 mission “that was carrying science payloads performed as designed, though, blasting away from the booster after which it performed a parachute-assisted landing near the launch site.” The FAA’s investigation “resulted in 21 corrective actions Blue Origin had to undertake, including a redesign of the engine and nozzle components so the rocket boosters won’t suffer the same fate on future missions.” While the rocket “remains grounded for now, Blue Origin on its social media posted that flights would resume shortly.”
Full Story (Orlando Sentinel)