(Washington) The American space company Blue Origin will try again on Tuesday to launch its New Shepard rocket, for the first time since an accident that occurred more than a year ago.

The launch, which should mark the great return to the air of the company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, could not take place as initially planned on Monday “because of a problem with the ground systems”, declared Blue Origin on X.

The new shooting window, for this takeoff from west Texas, opens at 10:37 a.m. local time (11:37 a.m. Eastern time), the company then announced, which plans to retransmit the flight in directly on its website.

The mission, named NS-24, is not expected to carry anyone on board, but it will carry scientific experiments, more than half of which were developed with the support of NASA.

This rocket is notably used by the company for space tourism flights, and has already taken 31 people for trips of a few minutes above the final frontier, including Jeff Bezos himself.

The accident which occurred in September 2022 resulted in the crash of the rocket’s propulsion stage, which was also not carrying passengers at the time.

An investigation was opened by the American aviation regulator (FAA), which concluded in September that the accident had been caused by “a higher than expected operational temperature of the engine”.

The FAA had requested changes from the space company before flights could resume. These “corrective actions” included modifying the design of certain engine components.

The regulator confirmed to AFP that it had approved the modified flight license filed by Blue Origin.

The New Shepard rocket is made up of a propulsion stage and, at its top, the capsule carrying its cargo or passengers.

During the mission named NS-23, the capsule’s automatic ejection system was triggered and it fell to the ground, slowed by its parachutes.

The main stage had been destroyed by hitting the ground, instead of landing in a controlled manner for reuse, as usual.

All the debris had fallen within the designated safety zone, the FAA noted in September.

Blue Origin competes in the niche of short space tourism flights with Virgin Galactic, a company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson and which operates in New Mexico.

But Blue Origin is also developing a heavy launcher, named New Glenn, for which it plans the first flight in 2024. At 98 meters high, the New Glenn rocket should be able to carry up to 45 tonnes into low Earth orbit – a completely different scale. as the suborbital flights of New Shepard.