Blue Origin’s Factory Offers Rare Look at New Glenn Rocket Hardware
Blue Origin recently provided a glimpse inside their factory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, showcasing the hardware for their upcoming orbital rocket, New Glenn. An image shared on Instagram reveals rocket stage and interstage components, as well as propellant tank domes, all on the factory floor in Florida. While no specific details were provided, it is unclear whether the components shown are test articles or potential flight hardware.
New Glenn has been in development for several years and has faced numerous delays. However, this rare glimpse at the rocket hardware suggests that Blue Origin is confident in the progress they are making towards a test launch, which is expected to take place next year.
The two-stage New Glenn rocket will stand at an impressive height of 322 feet (98 meters) and have a payload capacity of 14 tons (13 metric tons) to geostationary transfer orbit, and 50 tons (45 metric tons) to low Earth orbit. It will be powered by seven BE-4 engines, which Blue Origin is also manufacturing for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle.
Unlike traditional rockets, New Glenn will have a reusable first stage, making it a potential competitor to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Blue Origin has already secured a long-term lease for Launch Complex 36 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which is in close proximity to their production factory. Additionally, NASA has enlisted New Glenn as part of its fleet of commercial launchers, with the possibility of using it for future crewed lunar missions. Blue Origin is also working on a second moon lander for NASA’s Artemis program, offering another option alongside SpaceX’s Starship.
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