Blue Origin, the area firm based by Jeff Bezos, has lastly set a date for its New Shepard rocket’s first flight in additional than a 12 months, left it grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The corporate is focusing on Monday, December 18 for liftoff from its West Texas facility. The launch window opens at 9:30AM ET.
New Shepard received’t be carrying a crew for this flight, however may have science and analysis payloads on board, plus 38,000 pupil postcards stamped “Flown to House!” from the program. It’ll be livestreamed on beginning 20 minutes earlier than takeoff.
Blue Origin’s reusable suborbital rocket has accomplished each crewed and payload missions in its previous, together with in 2021 that kicked off its entry into human spaceflight. Six of its 24 flights have had people on board its crew capsule. On September 12, 2022, an uncrewed New Shepard skilled a failure after takeoff and crashed again to the bottom. Earlier than doing so, although, it was capable of abort the capsule, which separated and made a protected parachute touchdown.
The FAA performed an investigation into the incident and gave Blue Origin 21 corrective actions to finish earlier than it might fly once more. The reason for the difficulty was discovered to be the failure of an engine nozzle that overheated. The FAA closed its investigation on the finish of September this 12 months.