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"Blue Origin 's Comeback: Unveiling the Resurgence with NS-24 Launch After 15-Month Hiatus"

By Ritwik Ghosh,Kolkata India

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In the pursuit of reactivating its New Shepard suborbital rocket, Bezos’ Blue Origin is poised to end a protracted operational hiatus exceeding 15 months. The company’s declaration today reveals plans for an uncrewed mission scheduled for liftoff as early as December 18, marking a significant milestone.

Verification of the impending launch surfaced on the company’s social media platform following a detailed Bloomberg report referencing an internal email disclosing the revised target date. Designated as NS-24, the mission is slated to transport an array of 33 science and research payloads along with other cargo of importance.

The grounding of New Shepard traces back to September 2022 when a malfunction in the engine nozzle prompted an automatic abort, resulting in the release of the uncrewed capsule from the booster. While the capsule executed a secure landing, the booster met its demise upon a crash landing back on Earth. It’s noteworthy that the mission, at that time, was also uncrewed.

The Federal Aviation Administration, concluding its investigation into the incident in September, mandated Blue Origin to implement 21 corrective measures. These included a redesign of engine and nozzle components, coupled with organizational restructuring. The recent launch date announcement underscores Blue Origin’s successful implementation of these actions, securing a modified launch license from the FAA. As per the regulatory authority’s website, the modified license stands valid until August 2025 and is exclusive to launches from Blue Origin’s West Texas facilities.

While Blue Origin actively pursues ambitious projects, such as the impending launch of the New Glenn heavy-lift rocket and the lunar lander Blue Moon, which awaits a $3.4 billion contract from NASA, the New Shepard flight program remains the sole operational initiative at present. With over 22 flights conducted to date, the vehicle has ushered 31 individuals, including CEO Jeff Bezos, to the brink of space and safely back to Earth.

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