Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Jeff Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin, postponed the launch of its reusable New Shepard rocket Friday in Texas with NASA and university experiments on board.
"We are working to verify a fix on a technical issue and taking an extra look before we fly. New launch target forthcoming," the company announced on Twitter.
Liftoff had been planned for 11 a.m. EDT at the company's launch facilities about 150 miles east of El Paso.
Launch personnel also postponed an attempt Thursday due to a "potential issue with the power supply to the experiments," Blue Origin said.
The launch would be the 13th New Shepard mission and the seventh consecutive flight for the rocket, which is 60 feet tall and emits 110,000 pounds of thrust. The company one day wants to fly space tourists in a capsule designed for six people as it also develops its larger New Glenn rocket.
The NASA experiment on the rocket, called the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration, includes sensors designed to help locate a safe site on the moon for upcoming landings, according to NASA and Blue Origin's mission description.
"The technologies could allow future missions -- both crewed and robotic -- to target landing sites that weren't possible during the Apollo missions, such as regions with varied terrain near craters," the mission description said.
Those sensors require clear skies to function properly, Blue Origin said Thursday.
The company leads the so-called national team in developing a human lander for future moon missions. The team includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper.
The sensors are the first payload to fly mounted on the exterior of a New Shepard booster rather than inside its capsule, which the company said could open opportunities for other exterior technology, including "a wide range of future high-altitude sensing, sampling and exposure payloads."
At least two plant experiments are in the rocket's capsule, one of which was designed by researchers at the University of Florida's Ferl/Paul Space Plants Lab.
Other payloads on board the so-called NS-13 mission include experiments from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California and Colorado-based Space Lab Technologies.