Jeff Bezos’ space tourism venture Blue Origin has delayed its fifth crewed launch scheduled for Friday because one of the New Shepard rocket’s backup systems failed to live up to expectations.
Blue Origin’s The fourth flight successfully landed in March in western Texas after carrying six passengers on a 10-minute journey to the edge of space.
The company’s suborbital flight lasted about 10 minutes from takeoff to landing, reaching an altitude of about 350,000 feet (106 km), leaving passengers with no weight left before landing on Earth to land parachute wings.
Blue Origin said on Wednesday tests showed one of the rocket’s backup systems was not meeting performance expectations and it was delaying the mission.
Meanwhile, US rocket companies are said to be facing a decline in their satellite launch capacity as sanctions sideline Russia’s space launch industry. According to a recent report, SpaceXAstra Space and Rocket Lab USA are some of the US companies that are expected to fill the crisis, but industry officials aren’t sure if they’ll be up to the task.
The race between Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper is to build large constellations of satellites to send broadband Internet from space. Therefore, the demand for opening sale is expected to increase higher.
Amazon’s Kuiper project will take up significant capacity over the next few years, analysts say the industry will face some delays related to the launch.