How to watch Blue Origin launch its first suborbital rocket

It is the space tourism company's first flight in more than a year

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Blue Origin is set to launch its first suborbital rocket on Monday since an explosion last year.

This will be a payload mission but Blue Origin, founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, has flown 31 people so far on its space tourism flights.

Blue Origin has never publicly revealed the ticket cost for a seat on its flights, but some reports say that it can go up to $1.25 million.

If today's attempt goes well, it is likely the company will restart crewed flights.

How to watch

Blue Origin will be live-streaming the launch attempt of its New Shepard rocket on its website.

The NS-24 mission launch window opens at 6.30pm, UAE time, and will take place from a spaceport in West Texas.

The webcast will begin 20 minutes prior.

What is the mission?

This is New Shepard's 24th mission and includes 33 payloads and 38,000 postcards written by pupils around the world.

“This mission will bring the number of payloads flown to space on New Shepard to more than 150,” Blue Origin said.

Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin crew travel to space successfully

Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin crew travel to space successfully

“More than half of the payloads on this flight are developed and flown with support from Nasa.

“Others come from K-12 schools, universities and Steam-focused (Science, tech, engineering, art and maths) organisations.”

Explosion incident last year

The explosion of the NS-23 mission, which had only payloads and no passengers, last September was blamed on an engine nozzle failure that caused the rocket to overheat.

The mission was aborted mid-flight, only one minute into the launch.

But the crew capsule escape system worked as it should, bringing the payloads back to the ground with a parachute-assisted landing.

Mr Bezos flew on the first crewed flight in July 2021, along with 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk.

The late British billionaire Hamish Harding, who lived in Dubai, became the first space tourist from the UAE when he flew on a Blue Origin rocket last year.

He was one of the five people who died on the Titan submersible's voyage to the Titanic shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year.

Updated: December 18, 2023, 5:13 AM