FAA Closes Blue Origin Mishap Investigation

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The FAA has closed the Blue Origin New Shepard 23 mishap investigation. The final report cites the proximate cause of the Sept. 12, 2022, mishap as the structural failure of an engine nozzle caused by higher than expected engine operating temperatures. The FAA required Blue Origin 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.  

During the mishap the onboard launch vehicle systems detected the anomaly, triggered an abort and separation of the capsule from the propulsion module as intended and shut down the engine. The capsule landed safety and the propulsion module was destroyed upon impact with the ground. All debris landed within the designated hazard area. Public safety was maintained at all times with no injuries or public property damage.

The closure of the mishap investigation does not signal an immediate resumption of New Shepard launches. Blue Origin must 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 the next New Shepard launch.

Contact Blue Origin for additional information. Learn more about mishap investigations.


  • The FAA oversaw the Blue Origin-led investigation to ensure the company complied with its FAA-approved mishap plan, the terms and conditions of its license and other regulatory requirements. 
  • The FAA was involved in every step of the mishap investigation and granted NASA and the National Transportation Safety Board official observer status.  
  • The mishap investigation report contains proprietary data and U.S Export Control information and is not available for public release.