New Glenn Rocket
BlueOrigin ace in the space race.
BlueOrigin New Glenn Rocket looks quite impressive in this CGI, however getting it from a drawing board and building a fully functional and operational piece of hardware…
However Jeff Bezos might sleep easier now that he has secured several commercial launch client for new Glenn Rocket.
OneWeb, UK based satellite operator has signed for 5 launches in 2020, each launched valued @~$100 million, another client is EUtelsat, a French based satellite and satellite communication provider, presumably this is just the start.
The fact that we have two large commercial customers early on, Jeff Bezos hope of creating thousands of jobs in Space is slowly become a reality.
In an interview for Aviation Weekly Jeff Bezos outlined his vision and made some startling predictions.
First thing first.
BlueOrigin is aiming at suborbital and Low Earth Orbit Space Tourism with New Sheppard Rocket and New Sheppard Capsule. After extensive testing New Shepard is ready for first space tourist.
When and how much will each tourist need to pay for Sub-orbital trip, is yet to be determined, however be prepared to pay upwards of $100 000 for the privilege of flying in to space.
Each capsule can take up to 7 tourists and normally the experience will last several hours. New Shepard Rocket in extensive flight tests achieved 104km orbit, or just below LEO, Low Earth Orbit starts at an altitude of 160km.
Another big thing for BlueOrigin, is a NASA program called Blue Moon, or commercial supply program to support future Lunar Outpost. BlueOrigin could play important role in building future Human presence on the Moon by at first delivering important supplies to future Lunar outpost but also perhaps even establish presence of their own.
To help them fulfil this mission BlueOrigin is working on a new rocket, aptly named “New Glenn”, rocket that will take BlueOrigin in to a commercial success.
New Glenn Launcher comes as a two or a 3 stage Rocket with Two stage being slightly shooter @82. 3 Stage rocket is 95m tall and is designed to place payload in to high orbit, either Geostationary Orbit or even the Moon.
Both rockets are 7m wide and maximum payload to Low Earth orbit is 45 tons, and in to GTO around 14 tons, The Moon about the same. Presumably at some point additional boosters might be added to give New Glenn Rocket more power and higher payload. However, as of now we have only base version of New Glenn Rocket.
New Glenn Rocket is partially re-usable designed to launch up to 25 cargo missions, however only 1st stage is re-usable. As 1st stage is most expensive part, approximately 72-75% of the rocket’s cost, it is only smart to recover 1st stage when possible.
New Glenn Rocket is powered by 7 BE-4 rocket engines currently under development by BlueOrigin, with 7 BE-4 engines used as part of the first stage, combine they provide 3.85 million pounds of lift.
First Flight of New Glenn Rocket is expected in 2019.
New Glenn Rocket will be directly competing with SpaceX Flacon Heavy and United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket which is being developed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
New Glenn Rocket first commercial missions if all goes well, will be for EUtelsat sometimes in early 2020, soon followed by several launches for OneWeb also early in 2020.
As things stand, BlueOrigin is poised to become serious player in space launches, paving the way for cheaper and more affordable access to space.