Blue Origin to Launch New Glenn in 2021 as Most Capable Rocket Available

Blue Origin New Glenn rendering 9 photos
Photo: Blue Origin via Youtube
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Last year was undoubtedly the best time for private companies to be in the space exploration business. SpaceX alone, the current leader of the pack, managed to launch a record number of rockets in what was an incredible display of privately-funded might and engineering.
This year, SpaceX expects the 2018 record not to be broken, mainly because the number of contracted launches has decreased, but also because the company is now focusing on testing and launching its Crew Dragon capsule.

From 2021 onwards, SpaceX's job will get even harder, as one of its major competitors, Blue Origin, will begin operating its second rocket, one that has the "most capable upper stage in the market."

This week, the company founded by Jeff Bezos revealed that its second spacecraft, the New Glenn, will begin sending items into space for various contractors in 2021, taking off from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

As per Blue Origin, New Glenn will be used for commercial, civil and national security customers not only from the U.S. but from around the world. Being an orbital spacecraft, the ship will also be capable of carrying humans.

The spacecraft takes its name after the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, John Glenn. It is powered by in-house built BE-3U engines, the first new liquid hydrogen-fueled rocket engines to be developed for production in America in more than a decade.

The company promises the ship will have double the available volume in today’s rockets and can be reused for no less than 25 times before getting decommissioned, thanks to it being a vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL) machine, just like those of SpaceX.

New Glenn will thus be joining the existing rocket, New Shepard, a rocket that until now was launched nine times. Blue Origin says all the lessons learned with the New Shepard are being used in the development of the New Glenn.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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