The future of Blue Origin New Glenn rocket joins NASA’s fleet of commercial launch vehicles for flights in the mid-2020s, the group and the company announced this week.
The newly signed contract marks another extension to NASA’s launch vehicle stable. The group is already flying payloads on a Blue Origin suborbital vehicle, Fresh shepard, which has flown twelve times. New Glenn, an orbital surgeon, is designed to reuse its boosters, and the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos said he hopes the vehicle people fly as well as cargo.
“The award builds on Blue Origin’s partnership with NASA and will advance science and research to benefit Earth,” said Jarrett Jones, senior vice president of New Glenn at Blue Origin, he said in a company statement. “We are proud to be in NASA’s catalog of launch services and look forward to a reliable launch for future NASA missions aboard New Glenn for years to come.”
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The new contract does not promise NASA to launch any special mission on New Glenn. Instead, it opens Blue Origin to compete for NASA contracts under NASA Launch Services II, which is eligible for launch through December 2027, according to a NASA statement.
These vehicles must be capable of carrying at least 550 lbs. (250 kilograms), bar New Glenn design is easy to clean. Unlike modern heavy commercial vehicles, SpaceX’s Falcon trom and United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV Trom, the New Glenn is dependent on one increase, not three.
The heavy-duty New Glenn rocket is a two-stage lift that is 313 feet (95 meters) high and has a lifting capacity of up to 14 tons (13 metric tons) to geostationary orbit and 50 tons (45 metric tons) below. Orbit of earth. Its huge payload balance (which is 23 feet wide, or 7 meters) will allow it to launch several payloads from a Blue Origin cap at Launch Complex 36 of the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The rocket’s high refueling boost slides down on a waiting ocean platform after launch. It is designed to fly up to 25 times, Blue Origin has stated. According to Blue Origin, New Glenn will make its first flight next year. That timeline makes it one of two commercial heavy rockets aiming for the first time in 2021, alongside the new United Launch Alliance Carbad Vulcan.
In addition to the new orbital opportunities and New Shepard flights, NASA and Blue Origin may have other partnerships in the future. The company has designed a robotic blue moon a lander that NASA has accepted as an option for delivering lunar science and technology missions; moreover, Blue Origin is leading a consortium that is changing that design as one of three contenders to land humans on the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program.
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