Blue Origin to resume space tourist flights after near 2-year pause

By Thomson Reuters May 14, 2024 | 12:41 PM

(Reuters) – Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin will resume flights to space on Sunday, ending a near two-year pause of crewed operations following a 2022 mission failure.

The NS-25 mission will lift off from Launch Site One in West Texas, with the launch window for the flight starting at 0830 CT (1330 GMT), the company said on Tuesday.

The New Shepard rocket, which flies cargo and humans on short trips to the edge of space, has been grounded since a September 2022 uncrewed mission failed roughly a minute after liftoff from Texas, forcing the rocket’s capsule full of NASA experiments to safely eject mid-flight.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration closed its review of Blue Origin’s New Shepard investigation last year, agreeing with the company’s findings. It required Blue Origin to make 21 corrective actions, including an engine redesign and “organizational changes”.

The upcoming NS-25 mission will have six crew members, including former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight, the first Black astronaut candidate in the United States.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)