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Blue Origin scrubs Friday launch over vehicle issue

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Blue Origin scrubs Friday launch over vehicle issue
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.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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Out-of-this-world images from space

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

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