Blue Origin Details Glenn And Gets First Customer For New Space Rocket

Blue Origin BE-4 rocket engine

"Once the opportunity of Blue Origin presented itself, we jumped on it", Belmer said. SpaceX was able to land orbital rockets while Blue Origin still mainly has sub-orbital ones.

The satellite will launch aboard New Glenn, a forthcoming Blue Origin rocket named after the late American astronaut John Glenn. Both Bezos and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk say that such technology will slash the cost of spaceflight, helping to open up deep-space locales to exploration. "Their solid engineering approach. corresponds to what we expect from our industrial partners".

As the current Trump administration reveals its interest in moon missions, Blue Origin has circulated a white paper that details its interest to develop a lunar spacecraft with a lander that can deliver supplies to the lunar surface. "Welcome to the launch manifest, Eutelsat, can't wait to fly together", said Bezos. Blue Origin has a test site in West Texas.

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Seven BE-4s will be needed to serve as the main engines of the New Glenn. Although two additional engines are nearing completion, Bezos took to Twitter to show off the company's first-assembled engine. "And if the testing that happens in the next couple of months is successful, we'll probably end up on that Blue Origin (engine)".

Today's announcement follows through on word that Blue Origin, headquartered in Kent, Wash., has signed up the Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat as the New Glenn program's first paying customer.

Blue Origin is working towards the first launch of its super heavy-lift rocket, the New Glenn.

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The biggest part of making space tourism a reality is reducing costs enough that it's feasible for actual human beings to go to space, and not just the ultra-rich.

A news release from Eutelsat said the new partnership with Blue Origin reflects its "longstanding strategy to source launch services from multiple agencies in order to secure access to space and partner with launch agencies that combine the highest levels of performance, flexibility and competitiveness". Bezos likened space tourism to "barnstorming", a practice in the early days of traditional aviation, when pilots would fly around the country, touching down in farmers' fields and giving the local kids a ride on a plane, selling tickets and bringing in interest and money to the new industry. Two BE-4 engines provide a combined total of 1.1 million pounds of thrust, which provides a greater payload capability relative to the RD-180.

Tentative steps these may be (or in Blue Origin's case, animated steps), but it's still pretty awesome to even be talking about potential space tourism.

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Blue Origin has assembled a highly experienced propulsion team whose members have held key roles on every US liquid rocket engine development program in the last 30 years.

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