Author Topic: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan  (Read 110662 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Baseline article after the announcement:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/09/blue-origin-new-glenn-orbital-lv/

The announcement materials follow:

Quote
Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace 7m7 minutes ago

Blue Origin just revealed its plan for an orbital rocket. And ... wow. Story coming.
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/775319692051447809

Quote
Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace 5m5 minutes ago

"The 3-stage variant – with its high specific impulse hydrogen upper stage – is capable of flying demanding beyond-LEO missions."
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/775320494660804608

Quote
Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace 2m2 minutes ago

To put the @blueorigin orbital rocket into perspective: 7 BE-4 engines, each more powerful than a space shuttle engine.
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/775321415147020289

Edit: added New Glenn to thread title
« Last Edit: 03/08/2017 05:21 AM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Ragmar

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1 on: 09/12/2016 01:17 PM »
New update from Jeff Bezos regarding the announcement of a new orbital rocket, New Glenn (image attached):

Quote
Our mascot is the tortoise. We paint one on our vehicles after each successful flight. Our motto is “Gradatim Ferociter” – step by step, ferociously. We believe “slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” In the long run, deliberate and methodical wins the day, and you do things quickest by never skipping steps. This step-by-step approach is a powerful enabler of boldness and a critical ingredient in achieving the audacious. We’re excited to give you a preview of our next step. One we’ve been working on for four years. Meet New Glenn:

Introducing New Glenn: Reusable, vertical-landing booster, 3.85 million pounds thrust
Building, flying, landing, and re-flying New Shepard has taught us so much about how to design for practical, operable reusability. And New Glenn incorporates all of those learnings.

Named in honor of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, New Glenn is 23 feet in diameter and lifts off with 3.85 million pounds of thrust from seven BE-4 engines. Burning liquefied natural gas and liquid oxygen, these are the same BE-4 engines that will power United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan rocket.

The 2-stage New Glenn is 270 feet tall, and its second stage is powered by a single vacuum-optimized BE-4 engine. The 3-stage New Glenn is 313 feet tall. A single vacuum-optimized BE-3 engine, burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, powers its third stage. The booster and the second stage are identical in both variants.

We plan to fly New Glenn for the first time before the end of this decade from historic Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. New Glenn is designed to launch commercial satellites and to fly humans into space. The 3-stage variant – with its high specific impulse hydrogen upper stage – is capable of flying demanding beyond-LEO missions.

Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step. It won’t be the last of course. Up next on our drawing board: New Armstrong. But that’s a story for the future.

Gradatim Ferociter!

Jeff Bezos
« Last Edit: 09/12/2016 01:17 PM by Ragmar »

Online Orbiter

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #2 on: 09/12/2016 01:20 PM »
Seven BE-4 engines on the first stage? Wow! They're also hinting at another future launch vehicle, the New Armstrong.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2016 01:30 PM by Orbiter »
Attended space missions: STS-114, STS-124, STS-128, STS-135, Atlas V "Curiosity", Delta IV Heavy NROL-15, Atlas V MUOS-2, Delta IV Heavy NROL-37, SpaceX CRS-9, SpaceX JCSAT-16, Atlas V GOES-R.

Offline Welsh Dragon

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #3 on: 09/12/2016 01:27 PM »
Eyeballing it, a 7 m core, with 5 m fairing (on the 2 stage)? Compared to the 5 m Delta IV? (EDIT: need to read properly, it's 7 m). That's one big rocket, surely that's overkill for GEO sat markets etc?
« Last Edit: 09/12/2016 01:28 PM by Welsh Dragon »


Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #5 on: 09/12/2016 01:31 PM »
Does anybody else feel that the booster is a bit big for the second stage? Does this indicate that they will stage at higher velocities/ altitudes than F9 does? Generally the rocket seems mighty big for the intended use.

Offline Bynaus

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #6 on: 09/12/2016 01:34 PM »
Goodness! A very big brother indeed! If that thing flies before the end of the decade, I see real trouble for the SLS ahead.

This is great news - just having SpaceX working on that kind of thing always makes me a bit nervous. But having two companies working on it feels good. It also means that people will now start to think more seriously about potential payloads.

Offline Kryten

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #7 on: 09/12/2016 01:35 PM »
Does anybody else feel that the booster is a bit big for the second stage? Does this indicate that they will stage at higher velocities/ altitudes than F9 does? Generally the rocket seems mighty big for the intended use.
It was already a good bet that it had higher staging velocity than Falcon; from the planning documents from the launch site application, the booster is recovered ~750nm downrange, much farther than falcon.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2016 02:20 PM by Kryten »

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #8 on: 09/12/2016 01:43 PM »
Does anybody else feel that the booster is a bit big for the second stage? Does this indicate that they will stage at higher velocities/ altitudes than F9 does? Generally the rocket seems mighty big for the intended use.
It was already a good bet that it had higher staging velocity than Falcon; from the planning documents from the launch site application, the booster is recoved ~750nm downrange, much farther than falcon.
So they won't do RTLS at all?

Offline Beittil

Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #9 on: 09/12/2016 01:46 PM »
So they won't do RTLS at all?
Seems like it, there are no applications for a landing zone (then again, that might be a bit far out yet anyway) at this moment.

If you look at how SpaceX did it, from Grasshopper to trials at sea without a ship and later with a ship until they were finally allowed a boostback. I can't imagine BO would get a free pass from the FAA/USAF to return to the cape straight off the bat either, need to prove that aiming tech first!
« Last Edit: 09/12/2016 01:48 PM by Beittil »

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #10 on: 09/12/2016 01:51 PM »
This brings all the fun we had speculating and reading tea leaves to a crashing halt. If my memory serves me correctly this rocket is much bigger than most of us dared to think. Six BE-4s and 2 stages is I think as high as most speculated. There was even the thought based on a tweet by Tory Bruno that it would be smaller than Vulcan with only one BE-4.

New Glenn being a three stage rocket surprised me. The 3rd stage is the only one to use LH2 and the BE-3. The cost of extra stage and infrastructure to support it must be have been determined to be worth it. I wonder if cost sharing some of that infrastructure with the New Shepard helps.

Online meberbs

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #11 on: 09/12/2016 01:58 PM »
I had been lucky enough to hear late last year the most likely number of engines, and the use of the BE-4U for the 2nd stage. (NDA so I couldn't share) I should have guessed the 3 stage with the BE-3U, based on what I knew and the public info pointing to the BE-3U being used, but I didn't until the recent documentation came out that suggested a 3 stage option.

I assume someone with an appropriate simulator will be able to make a reasonable guess at payload capacity. For now I would expect something comparable to a Falcon Heavy (assuming both rockets in reusable configuration  :D)

Given what I knew the really surprising thing was the hint Bezos gave that this would be their smallest orbital rocket ever. At least we have a name to throw at that possible BFR competitor now, New Armstrong.

Offline GWH

Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #12 on: 09/12/2016 02:00 PM »
-Wonder if New Armstrong is the name for their capsule/biconoc? (Although a lander would be more appropriate)
-This system could deliver a LOT of hydrolox to orbit to further a ULA parnership with their ACES stage playing the role of "space truck"
-Definitely a good news distraction so that noone is talking about the BE-4 test date slip that came out today ;-)

Offline Kryten

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #13 on: 09/12/2016 02:03 PM »
 What I don't quite get is the planning doc said the LC-36/11 complex was for 'medium and heavy-lift class orbital launch vehicles'. I doubt anyone would characterise this thing as 'medium-lift'.

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #14 on: 09/12/2016 02:07 PM »
Oh well that's cheered me up. Just hope it's not too big an incremental step.
Waiting for joy and raptor

Offline Nomic

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #15 on: 09/12/2016 02:09 PM »
Legs seem to be same style as New Shepard, fold out and down.

Offline kevinof

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #16 on: 09/12/2016 02:17 PM »
if they are not doing RTLS then where do we think might land the 1st stage? Nothing out there except the Azores or a mighty big Drone Ship.


Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #17 on: 09/12/2016 02:18 PM »
I was just thinking the booster size may in part be to enable RTLS?!

Offline mme

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #18 on: 09/12/2016 02:19 PM »
I can't wait to see this fly.  Any mention of trying to recover the second stage?
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Kryten

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Re: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #19 on: 09/12/2016 02:21 PM »
if they are not doing RTLS then where do we think might land the 1st stage? Nothing out there except the Azores or a mighty big Drone Ship.
From the launch site planning docs it's the mighty big drone ship option, or 'ocean-going platform' as they put it.

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