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Blue Origin resumes test flights after 2022 rocket crash

The launch is the first since an engine failure and crash grounded Blue Origin flights in September of 2022.
This image provided by Blue Origin shows the New Shepard rocket launching
Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 19, 2023

Blue Origin on Tuesday made its first successful test rocket launch since a crash suspended flights in 2022.

The Jeff Bezos-owned company launched an uncrewed capsule full of tests from west Texas to the edge of space, 66 miles high.

The rocket stage released the capsule and landed under its own power, while the capsule landed via parachute.

The launch was an improvement over the ill-fated test flight in September of last year, which veered off course and forced the test capsule to separate early, under the power of its emergency escape system.

Engineers tracked the problem to an overheated rocket nozzle. The incident prompted changes to the design of the combustion chamber and nozzle, and grounded Blue Origin's test flights for 15 months.

NASA awards new lunar landing contracts to Blue Origin
The Blue Moon lunar lander

NASA awards new lunar landing contracts to Blue Origin

Blue Origin will get $3.4 billion to develop reusable lunar landing stages.


The new launch resumes Blue Origin's progress toward more crewed flights. In 2021, the company sent its first passengers to the edge of space aboard two flights. The crews included Bezos, his brother Marcus Bezos and Star Trek actor William Shatner. The company has since launched 31 people aboard suborbital rockets.

Blue Origin hopes to bring a more powerful rocket into service in 2024. The New Glenn rocket will be used and reused for heavy-lift payloads and crewed missions to orbit around Earth.