Edinburgh, 13 September 2022. – Blue Origin’s New Shepard-23 (NS-23) uncrewed payload mission encountered an issue when the booster failed, which caused a fire and a subsequent ground impact. The capsule escape system successfully separated the capsule from the booster thou, and no injuries were reported. The company is currently examining what caused the anomaly.
NS-23 was going to be the first dedicated payload flight since August 2021, and the ninth flight for this vehicle. The dedicated payload flight was supposed to be the fourth New Shepard flight this year with 36 payloads onboard. Two of these were to fly on the exterior of the booster in order to be directly exposed to the space environment. Eighteen of the payloads were funded by NASA.
Infinity Fuel Cell’s AMPES experiment, built to demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell technology operations in microgravity, was one of the payloads aboard the booster. Other payloads included Honeybee Robotics’ ASSET-1 testbed, designed to study the strength of planetary soils, and the University of Florida’s BISS (Biological Imaging in Support of Suborbital Science) fluorescence imaging system.
NS-23 was also going to fly tens of thousands of postcards from Blue Origin’s nonprofit initiative Club for the Future. The Club’s mission is to inspire the younger generation to pursue STEM careers.