Blue Origin
Blue Origin

Blue Origin New Glenn rocket come together at Florida space coast

Blue Origin has provided a rare look inside their factory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) showing hardware for its new orbital rocket.

The image shared on Instagram shows rocket stage and interstage components and propellant tank domes for the New Glenn rocket on the factory floor in Florida. The post provided no details, so it is not known if the image shows test articles or potential flight hardware.

New Glenn has been in development for years and, after numerous delays, may fly for the first time next year. The rare glimpse at rocket hardware suggests Blue Origin is confident about the progress it is making towards a test launch.

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The two-stage rocket will be 322 feet tall (98 meters) long and able to lift 14 tons (13 metric tons) to geostationary transfer orbit, and 50 tons (45 metric tons) to low Earth orbit. 

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The mission control room is located inside Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket factory, a giant facility at the Cape where the company has been developing the massive orbital rocket for the last few years.

When complete, New Glenn is expected to be a big commercial competitor, towering over 95 meters, or 313 feet, high and capable of launching up to 45 metric tons, or nearly 100,000 pounds, into low Earth orbit. Blue Origin has also designed the rocket to be partially reusable, capable of landing on a floating platform at sea — similar to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

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The first stage will be powered by seven BE-4 engines. Blue Origin is also building BE-4s for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle.

New Glenn will have a reusable first stage and is seen as a potential alternative and competitor to SpaceX’s industry-dominating Falcon 9 rocket.

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Important pieces of the New Glenn puzzle are coming together. Now we just need the finished rocket so that all of these elements can be put to use. The New Glenn is expected to make its debut flight in 2021.

Blue Origin has a long-term lease for Launch Complex 36 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida for New Glenn launches, close to the production factory. NASA has signed up New Glenn to its fleet of commercial launchers and the rocket could be used for crewed lunar missions.

Blue Origin will build a second moon lander for NASA’s Artemis astronauts, adding another option alongside SpaceX’s Starship which was selected in 2021.

About the author

Naqvi Syed

Naqvi Syed is is a freelance journalist who has contributed to several publications, including Spacepsychiatrist. He tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. He works with Spacepsychiatrist from a long time.


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