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Failure of Blue Origin’s New Shepard a reminder that spaceflight is still hard

The failure of an uncrewed Blue Origin mission today (Sept. 12) provides an object lesson to space fans and casual observers alike: spaceflight is still hard.

Blue Origin launched its New Shepard vehicle on an uncrewed science mission to suborbital space this morning from West Texas. New Shepard’s first-stage booster suffered an anomaly about a minute into the flight, spurring the vehicle’s capsule to engage its emergency escape system. The capsule got itself away from trouble and landed safely under parachutes, and the booster hit the ground and was presumably destroyed.

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