Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years.

The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of space, including artist and former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight. In 1961, Dwight was selected by President John F. Kennedy to be the country’s first Black astronaut candidate, but he never made to space until today. Other passengers include software engineer and entrepreneur Ken Hess; retired accountant Carol Schaller; Sylvain Chiron, founder of brewery Brasserie Mont Blanc; aviator Gopi Thotakura; and venture capitalist Mason Angel of Industrious Ventures.

“I thought the whole idea of going to space with Blue Origin was a fascinating last chapter,” Dwight said in a Blue Origin promotional video. “I really, really want to do this because each person who goes up there all of a sudden has a totally different perspective of this little place here.”

The New Shepard rocket and crew capsule have safely returned to Earth.

Blue Origin — the private space company founded by Jeff Bezos — paused launches after the NS-22 mission experienced an anomaly in August 2022, causing the mission to abort after liftoff.

The company worked with the Federal Aviation Administration to identify 21 corrective actions before the next New Shepard launch. The rocket returned to operation in December 2023 in an unmanned launch that brought 33 cargo payloads into space.

As NS-25 naming suggests, today marks the New Shepard’s 25th mission, and it’s the seventh mission with humans on-board. Today’s flight brings Blue Origin to a total number of 37 human passengers flown to space.

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