Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster landing in West Texas on Dec. 19. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster landing in West Texas on Dec. 19. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Kent-based Blue Origin completes 24th mission to space

First flight since September 2022 mishap

Kent-based Blue Origin successfully completed its 24th New Shepard flight and 13th payload mission Tuesday, Dec. 19 from Launch Site One in West Texas.

The flight carried 33 payloads from NASA, academia, research institutions and commercial companies, bringing the number of payloads flown on New Shepard to more than 150, according to a Blue Origin news release.

Club for the Future, Blue Origin’s nonprofit, flew 38,000 postcards as part of its Postcards to Space program. Each postcard will be returned to its creator stamped “Flown to Space.” The club recently added a digital method to create and send postcards.

The mission elapsed time was 10 minutes, 13 seconds.

“A special thank you to all of our customers who flew important science today and the students who contributed postcards to advance our future of living and working in space for the benefit of Earth,” said Phil Joyce, senior vice president for New Shepard. “Demand for New Shepard flights continues to grow and we’re looking forward to increasing our flight cadence in 2024.”

It was the first New Shepard payload mission since a mishap in September 2022. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) closed its investigation just over two months ago into the Sept. 12, 2022 incident.

The FAA required Blue Origin to implement 21 corrective actions to prevent mishap reoccurrence, including redesign of engine and nozzle components to improve structural performance during operation as well as organizational changes.

Blue Origin had to implement all corrective actions that impact public safety and receive a license modification from the FAA that addresses all safety and other applicable regulatory requirements prior to its next New Shepard launch.

The company, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, opened in Kent in 2000 and expanded its headquarters in 2020 to a 236,000-square-foot blue-colored facility along 76th Avenue South between South 212th and South 228th streets.

Blue Origin launched its first rides into space in 2021 and eventually plans to have people living and working in space.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

The Blue Origin New Shepard capsule landing Dec. 19 in Texas. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

More in Business

t
Curry Pizza House opens first Washington location in Kent

Restaurant on the East Hill along 104th Avenue SE

A test rollout Feb. 21 of Kent-based Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin
Kent-based Blue Origin debuts New Glenn rocket in Florida

Successful rollout at Cape Canaveral launch pad

The Kaiser Permanente Kent Medical Center on the East Hill. COURTESY PHOTO, Kaiser Permanente
Still no timeline on new Kent Kaiser Permanente facility

Company bought the former Kmart property in 2020

t
Kent food distribution warehouse changes name to Pacific Coast Fresh Company

Similar to Pacific Coast Fruit name but signifies products beyond produce by Portland-based business

t
Muckleshoot Tribe celebrates new Auburn hotel and expanded casino

The 18-story tower features 401 rooms; grand opening celebration Jan. 26-28

t
Lunar lander will burn up in space before reaching moon

Kent-based Blue Origin helped launch rocket and lander but mission to end early

t
Burst water pipes damage Page Turner Books in downtown Kent

Pipes freeze in vacant unit above store along West Meeker Street; store seeks donations

Courtesy Photo, Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation to close Kent aluminum can manufacturing facility

About 121 employees to lose jobs at Second Avenue North plant

t
Engines from Kent’s Blue Origin help launch Vulcan rocket to moon

Unmanned flight hopes to reach lunar surface around Feb. 23

t
Half Lion files Chapter 11 bankruptcy in attempt to reopen Kent restaurant

Brewing company leases space from city; plans to file reorganization plan by Feb. 7, 2024

Nana’s Southern Kitchen will give away 800 meals on Christmas Day in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Nana’s Southern Kitchen
Donations boost Nana’s Southern Kitchen giveaway in Kent to 800 meals

Food will be distributed on Christmas Day to those in need; initial tally was 250 meals