Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin is set for a long-awaited return to the sky after it confirmed it will fly an uncrewed mission this month.
That action would end a pause of more than 15 months in activity for its New Shepard suborbital rocket with the company announcing on X (formerly Twitter) that it wants to fly again, as early as next Monday.
We’re targeting a launch window that opens on Dec. 18 for our next New Shepard payload mission. #NS24 will carry 33 science and research payloads as well as 38,000 @clubforfuture postcards to space. #FortheBenefitofEarth
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) December 12, 2023
New Shepard has been stuck on the ground since September last year, when it was learned that an auto-abort was triggered by an issue with the engine nozzle, as reported by Tech Crunch.
As stated on the X post, “NS-24 (the name of the mission) will carry 33 science and research payloads as well as 38,000 @clubforfuture postcards to space.”
News of the fresh launch date means Blue Origin has implemented the actions and recommendations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following its investigation into the aborted launch in September 2022. Bezos’ company has now received its modified launch license from the FAA, which is valid until August 2025 and is strictly limited to operations from Blue Origin’s West Texas facility.
Back in July 2021, New Shepard’s first launch with a crew included Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos and three others.
He was joined by his brother Mark, renowned flyer Wally Funk and a Dutch teen, named Oliver Daemen on the rocket which had a velocity of 2.233 mph and lasted 10 ten minutes.
That was a landmark occasion at Van Horn, Texas but if Bezos gets his way, he wants to make space travel safe and routine, taking millions of people to another dimension.