The next launch of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket -- pictured lifting off from Texas -- had been scheduled for Friday but was postponed after the company discovered a vehicle issue. File Photo courtesy Blue Origin
May 18 (UPI) -- Aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin will delay its next sub-orbital spaceflight because of a vehicle issue, the company announced Wednesday.
Originally scheduled to take place Friday, the launch would have been the fifth manned flight for the Washington state-based company's New Shephard space vehicle.
"During our final vehicle checkouts, we observed one of New Shepard's backup systems was not meeting our expectations for performance. In an abundance of caution, we will be delaying the #NS21 launch originally scheduled for Friday. Stay tuned for further updates," the company said in a statement Wednesday.
The company did not speculate on a new launch date.
In late March, the company launched its fourth crewed mission, carrying a crew of six to the edge of space and back.
That flight was originally supposed to include SNL actor Pete Davidson, who was invited as a guest, to join five paying customers. The comedian was unable to make the flight after it was re-scheduled and was replaced by Blue Origin suborbital rocket architect Gary Lai.
When the flight does eventually lift off, Evan Dick will become the first-ever repeat New Shepard crewmember. Dick previously flew on the NS-19 mission, which launched Dec. 11, 2021.
New Shepherd uses reusable liquid rocket engines, as well as a reusable capsule.
The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a flyaround of the orbiting lab that took place following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on November 8. Photo courtesy of NASA