Watch Blue Origin’s latest New Shepard launch attempt

Blue Origin will stream the launch on its site. | Screenshot: The Verge

Space tourism company Blue Origin has set its sights on a New Shepard launch window that starts Tuesday at 11:37AM ET, marking its latest attempt since the rocket booster failed during its September 2022 launch. While Blue Origin originally planned on carrying out the NS24 mission on Monday, December 18th, cold temperatures and “ground issues” caused the space tourism company to push back the launch.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket will launch from its Launch Site One in West Texas. Blue Origin will begin livestreaming the launch on its website 20 minutes before the countdown.

This will be the 24th launch of the reusable New Shepard rocket, and will carry 33 science payloads. Most of its launches have been uncrewed, but as Engadget noted, six of them have had human beings on board, including William Shatner. Last year, Blue Origin’s uncrewed NS-23 launch failed, prompting a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigation.

The FAA said in its September report that the “proximate cause” of the failure was an engine nozzle that succumbed to “higher than expected engine operating temperatures,” but that debris from the mishap was entirely contained in the “designated hazard area.” The agency gave the company 21 corrective actions to keep the same failure from happening again, “including redesign of engine and nozzle components” and organizational changes.

The rocket will also be carrying 38,000 postcards sent by students participating in Blue Origin’s Club for the Future program promoting STEM education. Club for the Future accepts physical postcards for New Shepard missions, but the club also sends along a hard drive filled with digital submissions.

Update December 18th, 9AM ET: Updated launch window timing per Blue Origin.

Update December 19th, 11:31AM ET: Added updated launch information.

Recent Articles

Related Stories