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Next Week, Blue Origin Plans To Launch An Uncrewed Mission

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Next Week, Blue Origin Plans To Launch An Uncrewed Mission

(CTN News) – Blue Origin has announced that it plans to resume operations of its New Shepard suborbital rocket after a pause of over 15 months.

The company confirmed the launch date of an uncrewed mission, named NS-24, on its social media account. This comes after an internal email was reported by Bloomberg.

The mission, scheduled for December 18, will carry 33 science and research payloads along with other cargo.

Since September 2022, New Shepard has been grounded due to an issue with an engine nozzle that triggered an auto-abort, resulting in the separation of the uncrewed capsule from the booster.

While the capsule landed safely, the booster was destroyed upon crashing back to Earth. It is important to note that this particular mission was also uncrewed.

In September, the Federal Aviation Administration concluded its investigation into the incident and instructed Blue Origin to implement 21 corrective actions.

These actions include redesigning the engine and nozzle components, as well as making necessary organizational changes.

Blue Origin has completed all necessary actions and obtained its modified launch license from the FAA, resulting in a new launch date.

As stated on the regulator’s website, this modified license is valid until August 2025 and is specifically applicable to launches conducted at Blue Origin’s West Texas facilities.

It is worth mentioning that the New Shepard flight program is presently the sole operational program, even though Blue Origin is actively engaged in several ambitious projects, including the New Glenn heavy-lift rocket and the Blue Moon lunar lander.

To date, this program has completed over 22 successful flights, carrying a total of 31 individuals to the outer limits of space and safely returning them to Earth.

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