Science

Blue Origin rocket crashed a minute after liftoff

Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ private company’s New Shepard launch vehicle failed on Monday to launch an unmanned capsule into space. Nevertheless, the emergency ejection system worked well and allowed the capsule and its payload to be recovered without damage.

Three transfers and finally an explosion in the sky. This Monday, September 12, the suborbital flight of the Blue Origin rocket, a company owned by American billionaire Jeff Bezos, failed. A minute after takeoff, the booster failed, causing the New Shepard launcher to explode and eject the capsule immediately. Luckily, there were no space tourists on board this flight, just onboard impressions.

The NS-23 mission was supposed to start at 15:30 Paris time, but several times the countdown was suspended without explanation. The capsule finally took off at 4:26 p.m. from Site 1 of the Blue Origin Corn Ranch. in Texas. According to Futura Sciences, 1 minute and 2 seconds after takeoff, there was an engine problem causing a large flame. Two seconds later, the BE-3 propulsion engine spat out, this time, another anomalous flame. Just a second later, New Shepard’s on-board computer decided to eject the capsule for safety reasons.

“Launcher failure during drone flight today,” the company first announced, then added that the capsule’s ejection system worked as expected. The video shows the hard landing of the capsule, but not the rest of the rocket that crashed. “There were no injuries,” Blue Origin said.

If the astronauts were on board, they would experience a very strong acceleration, but would complete the flight unharmed, points out the specialized website Ciel & Espace. Thus, despite the failure, Blue Origin confirms that the rescue system is fully operational.

Various experiments were carried out on this flight, which were supposed to be carried out in microgravity conditions at an altitude of about 100 kilometers. This is the first time New Shepard has abandoned a mission since 2015. The nature of the anomaly that occurred on the launcher, which was on its ninth flight, is still unknown.

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