Author Topic: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan  (Read 125065 times)

Offline J-V

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #620 on: 03/20/2017 09:10 AM »

I envision a three engine, appropriately ballasted first stage (only) being used to test launch, reentry, landing.

Nop, there is no intermediate vehicle.

This isn't intermediate... it is 7m, using the BE-4 engines at full scale. 
Can only launch from coast, so test booster flight profile and EDL, then add rest of engines and second stage.

Graditum.

Why don't you just add a few engines, second stage and maybe a payload also? You have to test all the systems anyway to know everything works. If you have a payload there is some money coming in, even if your 1st stage goes boom while trying to land. The customer doesn't care, as long their satellite gets where it was supposed to go.

Offline AncientU

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #621 on: 03/20/2017 09:36 AM »
Non Graditum.

What if something goes poorly during the first minute of flight?  (that happens on first orbital vehicles...)
What of those systems have you tested?
Has one of those customers signed up for first orbital launch attempt? Would you?
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Offline J-V

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #622 on: 03/20/2017 09:46 AM »
Non Graditum.

What if something goes poorly during the first minute of flight?  (that happens on first orbital vehicles...)
What of those systems have you tested?
Has one of those customers signed up for first orbital launch attempt? Would you?

Something might go poorly on first flight, but how often do new LVs start with only S1? If rarely, that might hint that the chances are good enough to risk S2. Yes, reusability changes the equation, but I think the landing is the long pole here.

Being a customer for the first launch? If the price is right, someone is willing to pay it. The question for BO is just can you pay the margin between the stripped down S1 and the whole LV.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #623 on: 03/20/2017 09:48 AM »
If I were to throw a number out there, it'd be $15B.

That's what it would cost NASA, due to all their bureaucracy. Commercial can do it an order of magnitude cheaper, so more likely $1.5B.
Agreed on development cost.

$15B was my WAG to how high JB's internal limit is, for giving his vision a running start.
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Offline Jim

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #624 on: 03/20/2017 12:50 PM »

I envision a three engine, appropriately ballasted first stage (only) being used to test launch, reentry, landing.

Nop, there is no intermediate vehicle.

This isn't intermediate... it is 7m, using the BE-4 engines at full scale. 
Can only launch from coast, so test booster flight profile and EDL, then add rest of engines and second stage.

Graditum.

No "intermediate" as in no in-between development vehicle before New Glenn

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #625 on: 03/20/2017 03:59 PM »

I envision a three engine, appropriately ballasted first stage (only) being used to test launch, reentry, landing.

Nop, there is no intermediate vehicle.

This isn't intermediate... it is 7m, using the BE-4 engines at full scale. 
Can only launch from coast, so test booster flight profile and EDL, then add rest of engines and second stage.

Graditum.

No "intermediate" as in no in-between development vehicle before New Glenn

Not even a suborbital flying test article? They are going to do an all-up demo including orbital 2nd stage and first stage recovery on the first flight?

That's pretty late in the design cycle to learn about downrange high-velocity entry and ship landings.

Online meberbs

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #626 on: 03/20/2017 06:21 PM »

I envision a three engine, appropriately ballasted first stage (only) being used to test launch, reentry, landing.

Nop, there is no intermediate vehicle.

This isn't intermediate... it is 7m, using the BE-4 engines at full scale. 
Can only launch from coast, so test booster flight profile and EDL, then add rest of engines and second stage.

Graditum.

No "intermediate" as in no in-between development vehicle before New Glenn

Not even a suborbital flying test article? They are going to do an all-up demo including orbital 2nd stage and first stage recovery on the first flight?

That's pretty late in the design cycle to learn about downrange high-velocity entry and ship landings.
I am confused by the course of this discussion. Somehow it seems like people are expecting a subscale non-orbital test vehicle, when I don't remember any recent rocket design requiring such. ITS may be an exception, because its second stage may be a suborbital vehicle on its own. Not having a second stage wouldn't even make a good demo anyway, 2 of the falcon 1 failures were at or after stage separation.

Blue Origin has New Shepard anyway, which covers the need for learning about vertical landing. SpaceX didn't start figuring out landing the first stage until after multiple F9 flights, how is doing it on the first flight equate to learning about it "late in the cycle"? Not to mention the wind tunnel tests, extensive modeling, engine tests and hold down firings that will certainly happen before the first flight.

The only thing not gradual about New Glenn is the size, and Bezos has said before (paraphrasing) that many aspects of rockets are easier to deal with as the rocket gets bigger.

Offline AncientU

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #627 on: 03/20/2017 09:35 PM »

I envision a three engine, appropriately ballasted first stage (only) being used to test launch, reentry, landing.

Nop, there is no intermediate vehicle.

This isn't intermediate... it is 7m, using the BE-4 engines at full scale. 
Can only launch from coast, so test booster flight profile and EDL, then add rest of engines and second stage.

Graditum.

No "intermediate" as in no in-between development vehicle before New Glenn

You shouldn't believe everything a billionaire says.


A rational person would not be suck into the hype.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2017 10:21 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #628 on: 03/21/2017 12:59 AM »
Not even a suborbital flying test article? They are going to do an all-up demo including orbital 2nd stage and first stage recovery on the first flight?

That's pretty late in the design cycle to learn about downrange high-velocity entry and ship landings.
I am confused by the course of this discussion. Somehow it seems like people are expecting a subscale non-orbital test vehicle, when I don't remember any recent rocket design requiring such. ITS may be an exception, because its second stage may be a suborbital vehicle on its own. Not having a second stage wouldn't even make a good demo anyway, 2 of the falcon 1 failures were at or after stage separation.

Blue Origin has New Shepard anyway, which covers the need for learning about vertical landing. SpaceX didn't start figuring out landing the first stage until after multiple F9 flights, how is doing it on the first flight equate to learning about it "late in the cycle"? Not to mention the wind tunnel tests, extensive modeling, engine tests and hold down firings that will certainly happen before the first flight.

The only thing not gradual about New Glenn is the size, and Bezos has said before (paraphrasing) that many aspects of rockets are easier to deal with as the rocket gets bigger.

STS did drop tests. Falcon had Grasshopper and F9R dev vehicles. New Shepard had Goddard and PM2. DC-X was a reusable suborbital test article. What reusable system hasn't tested getting back?

Flying a rocket tail first from 130 km and Mach 8 down to a moving ship is highly nontrivial, they are probably going to lose a few. Maybe they want to get all the way to an all-up demo before trying EDL, but I wouldn't.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #629 on: 03/21/2017 01:12 AM »

I envision a three engine, appropriately ballasted first stage (only) being used to test launch, reentry, landing.

Nop, there is no intermediate vehicle.

Why wouldn't they have a testbed like Grasshopper, but higher flying?
Ask Bezos why he chose not to, in spite of being supposedly the more "incremental" NewSpace company.
By all your comments, you seem not to be very fond of Blue Origins, and you have the right to be, but why are you on this tread?
I like Blue Origin. I guess I feel free to point out flaws (in some of their technical arguments and the arguments people make about how Blue Origin is better) because I'm absolutely certain they will eventually succeed.

(I guess I also still have a bad taste in my mouth from when Blue Origin wanted to patent stuff long in the public domain and overall tried to throw roadblocks in front of SpaceX, such as challenging lease of LC39a, etc. But I'm still thankful they're around. Their existence and especially Bezos' cash ensures reusable rockets will be a thing.)

(...OK maybe I'm just a little bitter that Bezos doesn't care at all for Mars. ;) )


But anyway, I do like Blue Origin. Sorry for being such a Negative Nancy.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2017 01:20 AM by Robotbeat »
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Online meberbs

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #630 on: 03/21/2017 02:25 AM »
Not even a suborbital flying test article? They are going to do an all-up demo including orbital 2nd stage and first stage recovery on the first flight?

That's pretty late in the design cycle to learn about downrange high-velocity entry and ship landings.
I am confused by the course of this discussion. Somehow it seems like people are expecting a subscale non-orbital test vehicle, when I don't remember any recent rocket design requiring such. ITS may be an exception, because its second stage may be a suborbital vehicle on its own. Not having a second stage wouldn't even make a good demo anyway, 2 of the falcon 1 failures were at or after stage separation.

Blue Origin has New Shepard anyway, which covers the need for learning about vertical landing. SpaceX didn't start figuring out landing the first stage until after multiple F9 flights, how is doing it on the first flight equate to learning about it "late in the cycle"? Not to mention the wind tunnel tests, extensive modeling, engine tests and hold down firings that will certainly happen before the first flight.

The only thing not gradual about New Glenn is the size, and Bezos has said before (paraphrasing) that many aspects of rockets are easier to deal with as the rocket gets bigger.

STS did drop tests. Falcon had Grasshopper and F9R dev vehicles. New Shepard had Goddard and PM2. DC-X was a reusable suborbital test article. What reusable system hasn't tested getting back?

Flying a rocket tail first from 130 km and Mach 8 down to a moving ship is highly nontrivial, they are probably going to lose a few. Maybe they want to get all the way to an all-up demo before trying EDL, but I wouldn't.
I am assuming you just posted without thinking, because you apparently didn't bother reading my post:

What reusable system hasn't tested getting back?
They already tested it:
Blue Origin has New Shepard anyway, which covers the need for learning about vertical landing.
... Not to mention the wind tunnel tests, extensive modeling, engine tests and hold down firings that will certainly happen before the first flight.

They will have learned way more about getting a stage back from high altitude then SpaceX ever did from grasshopper. Your post is effectively answered already in my previous post, and you have no explanation as to why you think NS doesn't count as testing for New Glenn. I would guess this is because of the different engine (though that isn't valid) if you hadn't also compared PM2 and New Shepard. No one has ever tested the most difficult part, the high altitude, high speed return before a full up demo, not grasshopper, not the shuttle, and the closest is Blue Origin which has done the high altitude with New Shepard.

Also, you in no way addressed the question:
SpaceX didn't start figuring out landing the first stage until after multiple F9 flights, how is doing it on the first flight equate to learning about it "late in the cycle"?

Since you don't seem to have any value to add on the technical front I have a different question for you: Are you just trolling, or is there something about Blue Origin that has made you (and some others) stop thinking? Is it all the money Bezos has that he doesn't have to worry about startup costs? Besides the fact that most of his money isn't available as cash, it seems clear to me that he has not been just blindly dumping money into Blue Origin. His goal is to lower cost to access space, that means he still wants the low cost route and efficient use of money.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2017 02:27 AM by meberbs »

Offline jongoff

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #631 on: 03/21/2017 03:19 AM »
One big topic will be reliability. We've seen with SpaceX and others that failures often happen in places you didn't expect them to so being conservative in your design doesn't necessarily prevent them.

The reality does not meet your beliefs here.

AMOS 6 failure was directly related to
1) using new materials(carbon fiber) in the helium tanks
2) using subcooled propellant.

Neither of these two things are conservative.

Conservative design is a design which MINIMIZES those unexpected places.

There is nothing conservative about building a company's first orbital rocket using seven oxygen-rich staged combustion engines and a seven meter core... with landing legs and a ship under full steam cruising down range. 

Plenty room for 'unexpected places' in this approach.

Yeah, Blue has always gone for too big, too fast in my opinion.

~Jon

Online meberbs

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #632 on: 03/21/2017 05:27 AM »
One big topic will be reliability. We've seen with SpaceX and others that failures often happen in places you didn't expect them to so being conservative in your design doesn't necessarily prevent them.

The reality does not meet your beliefs here.

AMOS 6 failure was directly related to
1) using new materials(carbon fiber) in the helium tanks
2) using subcooled propellant.

Neither of these two things are conservative.

Conservative design is a design which MINIMIZES those unexpected places.

There is nothing conservative about building a company's first orbital rocket using seven oxygen-rich staged combustion engines and a seven meter core... with landing legs and a ship under full steam cruising down range. 

Plenty room for 'unexpected places' in this approach.

Yeah, Blue has always gone for too big, too fast in my opinion.

~Jon
That is sarcasm, right?

Online b0objunior

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #633 on: 03/21/2017 05:31 AM »
One big topic will be reliability. We've seen with SpaceX and others that failures often happen in places you didn't expect them to so being conservative in your design doesn't necessarily prevent them.

The reality does not meet your beliefs here.

AMOS 6 failure was directly related to
1) using new materials(carbon fiber) in the helium tanks
2) using subcooled propellant.

Neither of these two things are conservative.

Conservative design is a design which MINIMIZES those unexpected places.

There is nothing conservative about building a company's first orbital rocket using seven oxygen-rich staged combustion engines and a seven meter core... with landing legs and a ship under full steam cruising down range. 

Plenty room for 'unexpected places' in this approach.

Yeah, Blue has always gone for too big, too fast in my opinion.

~Jon
That is sarcasm, right?
No, he is perfectly serious, never been more serious in is entire life. What is going on? Why is there a debate arguing on nothingness. We don't know how they are going to proceed, why argue then?

Offline AlexP

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #634 on: 03/21/2017 12:45 PM »
As a hypothetical - if they launched a New Shepard from their Florida pad, would they be able to get enough altitude and distance that it could amount to a useful test for landing on the moving ocean platform?

I can see a couple of obvious problems for such a test - notably that New Shepard isn't designed to land on something at sea and it could be harder to stick the landing, and it's supposed to have a capsule on top which I can't imagine they'd want to launch out to sea. But regardless of those practicalities, I'm interested in whether such a flight would be beneficial or something they could model perfectly well without the need to risk hardware.

Offline Jim

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #635 on: 03/21/2017 01:31 PM »

I envision a three engine, appropriately ballasted first stage (only) being used to test launch, reentry, landing.

Nop, there is no intermediate vehicle.

This isn't intermediate... it is 7m, using the BE-4 engines at full scale. 
Can only launch from coast, so test booster flight profile and EDL, then add rest of engines and second stage.

Graditum.

No "intermediate" as in no in-between development vehicle before New Glenn

You shouldn't believe everything a billionaire says.


A rational person would not be suck into the hype.

People shouldn't post about things that they know nothing about, here and other places.
Where does it quote a "billionaire"?  What hype?
« Last Edit: 03/21/2017 01:33 PM by Jim »

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #636 on: 03/21/2017 01:44 PM »
Not even a suborbital flying test article? They are going to do an all-up demo including orbital 2nd stage and first stage recovery on the first flight?

That's pretty late in the design cycle to learn about downrange high-velocity entry and ship landings.
I am confused by the course of this discussion. Somehow it seems like people are expecting a subscale non-orbital test vehicle, when I don't remember any recent rocket design requiring such. ITS may be an exception, because its second stage may be a suborbital vehicle on its own. Not having a second stage wouldn't even make a good demo anyway, 2 of the falcon 1 failures were at or after stage separation.

Blue Origin has New Shepard anyway, which covers the need for learning about vertical landing. SpaceX didn't start figuring out landing the first stage until after multiple F9 flights, how is doing it on the first flight equate to learning about it "late in the cycle"? Not to mention the wind tunnel tests, extensive modeling, engine tests and hold down firings that will certainly happen before the first flight.

The only thing not gradual about New Glenn is the size, and Bezos has said before (paraphrasing) that many aspects of rockets are easier to deal with as the rocket gets bigger.

STS did drop tests. Falcon had Grasshopper and F9R dev vehicles. New Shepard had Goddard and PM2. DC-X was a reusable suborbital test article. What reusable system hasn't tested getting back?

Flying a rocket tail first from 130 km and Mach 8 down to a moving ship is highly nontrivial, they are probably going to lose a few. Maybe they want to get all the way to an all-up demo before trying EDL, but I wouldn't.
I am assuming you just posted without thinking, because you apparently didn't bother reading my post:

What reusable system hasn't tested getting back?
They already tested it:
Blue Origin has New Shepard anyway, which covers the need for learning about vertical landing.
... Not to mention the wind tunnel tests, extensive modeling, engine tests and hold down firings that will certainly happen before the first flight.

They will have learned way more about getting a stage back from high altitude then SpaceX ever did from grasshopper. Your post is effectively answered already in my previous post, and you have no explanation as to why you think NS doesn't count as testing for New Glenn. I would guess this is because of the different engine (though that isn't valid) if you hadn't also compared PM2 and New Shepard. No one has ever tested the most difficult part, the high altitude, high speed return before a full up demo, not grasshopper, not the shuttle, and the closest is Blue Origin which has done the high altitude with New Shepard.

Also, you in no way addressed the question:
SpaceX didn't start figuring out landing the first stage until after multiple F9 flights, how is doing it on the first flight equate to learning about it "late in the cycle"?

Since you don't seem to have any value to add on the technical front I have a different question for you: Are you just trolling, or is there something about Blue Origin that has made you (and some others) stop thinking? Is it all the money Bezos has that he doesn't have to worry about startup costs? Besides the fact that most of his money isn't available as cash, it seems clear to me that he has not been just blindly dumping money into Blue Origin. His goal is to lower cost to access space, that means he still wants the low cost route and efficient use of money.

The snark is unnecessary.

SpaceX used the F9 v1.0 booster as a nigh-velocity entry test vehicle, but it was a relatively small and cheap vehicle flying paying missions so they were willing to expend it if the tests failed (which they frequently did). NG is not going to be small or cheap, and expending massive boosters doesn't seem to be Bezos' style.

SpaceX then redesigned the Falcon 9 multiple times to account for the lessons they learned with v1.0, and v1.1, and v1.2. They were flying paying missions early in the design cycle, and aren't going to stop throwing away boosters until the design matures.

Is Blue going to fly expendable until they nail reuse? It's not all that realistic to say they will have everything figured out before the first launch. New Shepard experiences at least 10x less and probably 50x the peak heat flux that New Glenn will see - it's NOT a hypersonic entry test vehicle like the F9 v1.0 booster.

Offline Toast

They will have learned way more about getting a stage back from high altitude then SpaceX ever did from grasshopper. Your post is effectively answered already in my previous post, and you have no explanation as to why you think NS doesn't count as testing for New Glenn. I would guess this is because of the different engine (though that isn't valid) if you hadn't also compared PM2 and New Shepard. No one has ever tested the most difficult part, the high altitude, high speed return before a full up demo, not grasshopper, not the shuttle, and the closest is Blue Origin which has done the high altitude with New Shepard.

I think their distinction between New Shepard and New Glenn is that New Shepard barely crossed the Karman line, and had essentially zero horizontal velocity. New Glenn will be re-entering with a substantially higher velocity (probably substantially higher velocity than Falcon 9 as well), and will be precision-landing downrange on a target that isn't perfectly stationary. I agree with you that Blue Origin doesn't need to build any test vehicles or anything like that (after all, you're right that SpaceX never built a test vehicle of that kind), but I do think that they need to be prepared for (possibly multiple) failures before they make this work (which is exactly what SpaceX did). Of course, they have plenty of smart people working for them and I'm sure they've already been aware of the likelihood of losing some early cores since they started designing the rocket.

Online meberbs

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #638 on: 03/21/2017 02:56 PM »
The snark is unnecessary.

SpaceX used the F9 v1.0 booster as a nigh-velocity entry test vehicle, but it was a relatively small and cheap vehicle flying paying missions so they were willing to expend it if the tests failed (which they frequently did). NG is not going to be small or cheap, and expending massive boosters doesn't seem to be Bezos' style.

SpaceX then redesigned the Falcon 9 multiple times to account for the lessons they learned with v1.0, and v1.1, and v1.2. They were flying paying missions early in the design cycle, and aren't going to stop throwing away boosters until the design matures.

Is Blue going to fly expendable until they nail reuse? It's not all that realistic to say they will have everything figured out before the first launch. New Shepard experiences at least 10x less and probably 50x the peak heat flux that New Glenn will see - it's NOT a hypersonic entry test vehicle like the F9 v1.0 booster.
I find snark necessary when someone posts a comment literally already countered by the comment they are responding to. In that case there seems to choice but to be blunt. Since you didn't attempt to repeat any of your previous arguments or answer any of my questions about them, I assume you have dropped your previous statements. Edit: My bad, your statement about SpaceX and its updates as "early in the design cycle" with the implicit assumption that Blue will make no modifications to New Glenn after its first flight or from anything they learn from recovered boosters is so silly I failed to fully process that it was supposed to answer the "early in the design cycle" question. Learning about reuse after first orbital launch is exactly the same point in the design cycle. They are going to be skipping a couple of the in between steps like learning that just parachutes won't work, and designing in more fuel margin, but those steps are really unnecessary.

SpaceX has been flying expendable until they nail reuse, I don't really get why you think Blue would be different. Just like SpaceX tested reuse on paying missions, I don't see why Blue Origin wouldn't do so as well. The fact that a NG booster will presumably cost more than an F9 booster just makes it more important that they are able to at least attempt a reuse test on the first flight. It is OK if it fails, because at least they will be getting paid something sooner. Think which costs more:

-designing a smaller/fewer engine vehicle
-running  (probably multiple) tests with that vehicle
-doing a full test of New Glenn (unpaid since it is a first flight)
-starting paid flights

Or:

-doing a full test of New Glenn (unpaid since it is a first flight)
-starting paid flights

Note that for however long you are failing to get things recovered in the second case is how long you are stuck on the second step of the first case, but your testing in the first case is completely unsubsidized by income from putting things in orbit, and you are still losing hardware. Even the first hardware you recover will be a partial or total loss, because your ability to reuse it on the full vehicle will be limited at best. We don't know what the early New Glenn customers are paying, but other than expectation of discounts for early customers on a new rocket, there is no reason to think that pricing isn't similar to SpaceX with the price covering the expendable cost until reuse gets going.

I think their distinction between New Shepard and New Glenn is that New Shepard barely crossed the Karman line, and had essentially zero horizontal velocity. New Glenn will be re-entering with a substantially higher velocity (probably substantially higher velocity than Falcon 9 as well), and will be precision-landing downrange on a target that isn't perfectly stationary. I agree with you that Blue Origin doesn't need to build any test vehicles or anything like that (after all, you're right that SpaceX never built a test vehicle of that kind), but I do think that they need to be prepared for (possibly multiple) failures before they make this work (which is exactly what SpaceX did). Of course, they have plenty of smart people working for them and I'm sure they've already been aware of the likelihood of losing some early cores since they started designing the rocket.
I fully agree. Anyone who builds a new rocket regardless of reusability should expect early failures. Thinking otherwise is delusional. I consider this something that should go without saying here given the history a spaceflight.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2017 03:54 PM by meberbs »

Offline Kryten

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #639 on: 03/21/2017 03:11 PM »
Without the need for a paying customer, there's no reason to believe the first flights of NG would be orbital. We could be looking at something more like an aircraft test regime, with gradual envelope expansion.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2017 03:12 PM by Kryten »

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