FAA reveals findings of Blue Origin safety investigation

The Federal Aviation Administration has closed an inquiry into Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company, Blue Origin, finding “no specific safety issues” with the firm. Concerns were previously raised by Blue Origin staff.

This September, two months after Bezos made a short spaceflight aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket system, 20 current and former employees of the company accused the company of a litany of failings, from sexism in the office to environmental damage, to overlooking safety standards.

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“We have seen a pattern of decision-making that often prioritizes execution speed and cost reduction over the appropriate resourcing to ensure quality,” they wrote, prompting the FAA to review the company’s safety record.

The FAA’s probe has now concluded, and the agency stated on Friday that it had found “no specific safety issues” and would take no action against Bezos’ company.

At the time of the complaint, Blue Origin said that it stood “by our safety record and believe that New Shepard is the safest space vehicle ever designed or built.” Furthermore, a company spokesperson said that Alexandra Abrams, the chief author of the complaint, had been fired two years ago “after repeated warnings for issues involving federal export control regulations.”

In a separate investigation, the FAA is currently investigating the death of businessman Glen de Vries, who was killed when a small airplane he was traveling in crashed in New Jersey last month. De Vries had flown into space alongside ‘Star Trek’ lead and RT host William Shatner a month earlier aboard a Blue Origin rocket.

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