New Glenn – Blue Origin’s Planned Heavy Lift Rocket
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Named after John Glenn, America’s first man to orbit the Earth, the New Glenn rocket is a heavy-lift class rocket that is being privately developed by Blue Origin. The 7-meter diameter rocket will come in a 2 or 3-stage configuration, with the 1st stage being fully reusable. The New Glenn is due to begin test launches in 2020!
Top 10 Facts About The New Glenn Rocket!
- The New Glenn, despite being many times bigger than Blue Origin’s New Shepard space tourism rocket, is actually planned to be the smallest of the planned Blue Origin orbital class launchers!
- The first stage will be 7 meters (23 ft) in diameter – slightly less than SpaceX’s BFR rocket.
- The New Glenn’s two-stage configuration will be 86 m (283 ft) tall while the three-stage variant will be 99 m (326 ft) tall – similar to NASA’s SLS!
- The New Glenn’s first stage will also be reusable, landing vertically on a ship offshore, and is expected to complete 100 flights.
- The first stage will be powered by seven Blue Origin designed and produced, BE-4 engines burning liquid methane/oxygen, that will deliver 3.8 million lbf (17,000 kN) of thrust – about half of the Space Shuttle System.
- The planned payload to low Earth orbit (LEO) is 45 tonnes (99,000 lbs) which reduces to 13 tonnes to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).
- The new Blue Origin rocket will eventually be available for orbital space tourism flights, whereas the New Shepard only offers sub-orbital flights to space.
- The New Glenn is based and will lift-off from Launch Complex 36, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Initial test flights are planned to commence in 2020.
- Commercial contracts for launches of the New Glenn have already been signed.
- The development and production of the New Glenn is being funded solely by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and Blue Origin.