Bezos’ Blue Origin delays 5th crewed flight

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FILE PHOTO: Blue Origin's rocket New Shepard blasts off, near Van Horn, Texas

(Reuters) – Jeff Bezos’ space tourism venture Blue Origin delayed its fifth crewed launch that was scheduled for Friday as one of the New Shepard rocket’s back-up systems did not meet expectations.

Blue Origin’s fourth flight landed successfully in March in west Texas after taking six passengers for a 10-minute journey to the edge of space.

The company’s suborbital joyride lasts about 10 minutes from liftoff to touchdown, hits an altitude of about 350,000 feet (106 km), treating passengers to a few moments of weightlessness before a descent back to Earth for a parachute landing.

Blue Origin said on Wednesday tests showed one of the rocket’s back-up systems did not meet performance expectations and it was delaying the mission.

A handful of companies including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson-founded Virgin Galactic are striving to make space travel a reality.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)