Author Topic: Blue Origin project Jarvis/Clipper - reusable NG 2nd stage  (Read 158330 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07/blue-origin-is-developing-reusable-second-stage-other-advanced-projects/

Quote
Blue Origin has a secret project named ďJarvisĒ to compete with SpaceX
ďThis is the difference between taking a profit and a loss on New Glenn launches."

ERIC BERGER - 7/27/2021, 2:00 PM

In late May, a rumor concerning Blue Origin's large New Glenn rocket broke on several social media sites frequented by spaceflight enthusiasts.

Hereís the key new bit:

Quote
However, after subsequent reporting, I discovered a kernel of truth to the rumors of stainless steel and Blue Origin rockets. Three sources have confirmed to Ars that Blue Origin has started working on a project to develop a fully reusable upper stage for New Glenn, which may potentially use stainless steel propellant tanks.

Eric goes on to say that itís claimed the reusable 2nd stage is needed for NG to be profitable (presumably in terms of being price competitive with SpaceX).
« Last Edit: 02/11/2024 06:04 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline HarmonicGF2

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #1 on: 07/27/2021 01:29 pm »
Quote
Sources said Bezos has walled off parts of the second-stage development program from the rest of Blue Origin and told its leaders to innovate in an environment unfettered by rigorous management and paperwork processes.

This explains why many Blue sources denied shifting to steel in previous reporting. They didn't know about Jarvis.

Offline hektor

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #2 on: 07/27/2021 01:51 pm »
Wasn't there already a rocket called Jarvis ?

Online ZachS09

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #3 on: 07/27/2021 01:59 pm »
Wasn't there already a rocket called Jarvis?

Yes. It was an Air Force/NASA launch vehicle concept in the Ď80s named after Greg Jarvis.
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Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #4 on: 07/27/2021 02:14 pm »
The question from me is if this "environment unfettered by rigorous management and paperwork processes" is working for this new project, why it's not being implemented in the company as a whole.

Offline AU1.52

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #5 on: 07/27/2021 02:20 pm »
The question from me is if this "environment unfettered by rigorous management and paperwork processes" is working for this new project, why it's not being implemented in the company as a whole.


Maybe the contract they got themselves into with ULA? With ULA dependent on BE-4 they don't seem to think they can act like the Other company.

Offline Redclaws

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #6 on: 07/27/2021 02:33 pm »
Quote
Sources said Bezos has walled off parts of the second-stage development program from the rest of Blue Origin and told its leaders to innovate in an environment unfettered by rigorous management and paperwork processes.

This explains why many Blue sources denied shifting to steel in previous reporting. They didn't know about Jarvis.

Or just as possibly, they knew that the core isnít changing to stainless steel.

Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #7 on: 07/27/2021 02:36 pm »
Quote
Sources said Bezos has walled off parts of the second-stage development program from the rest of Blue Origin and told its leaders to innovate in an environment unfettered by rigorous management and paperwork processes.

This explains why many Blue sources denied shifting to steel in previous reporting. They didn't know about Jarvis.

Or just as possibly, they knew that the core isnít changing to stainless steel.

This question is about the management style/culture in the company. I've heard many negative comments about that about BO, not any specifics, but a general discontentment about it.

I think AU's comment about ULA's contract may hold some weight, but different companies have contracts with NASA (which I reckon is probably more rigorous than ULA's requirements). So it's more of the management's policies and the types of management that probably drives that the most.


edit: I misread the chain myself. You'd think that having a couple sources in a company that structured like Blue may not have the visibility of all the company. In a company like SpaceX, someone working on Falcon 9 may have little to no visibility of what's happening with Starship. So it's all about who your source is. I've heard a lot that at SpaceX, employees would often hear about big news about the company on the news before the internal memos. (I bring up SpaceX because it's a relatively known comparison)
« Last Edit: 07/27/2021 03:10 pm by Davidthefat »

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #8 on: 07/27/2021 02:46 pm »
It's not mentioned in the article but Blue Origin already has in-house hydrolox expertise so it seems like the logical choice for a high-performance upper stage. The larger tanks mean more surface area on re-entry so they might get away with smaller wings or less heat shielding.

Can't wait to see what they come up with.

Offline trimeta

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #9 on: 07/27/2021 03:06 pm »
The question from me is if this "environment unfettered by rigorous management and paperwork processes" is working for this new project, why it's not being implemented in the company as a whole.

Maybe this new project is basically a beta test of a new management approach, and if it works out, then the lessons learned will be applied to the company as a whole.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #10 on: 07/27/2021 03:20 pm »
So what is the likely payload capacity to LEO for a hypothetical, fully reusable New Glenn in 2040 when it comes online?

Around 30 tons? Or is that way off?
« Last Edit: 07/27/2021 03:21 pm by M.E.T. »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #11 on: 07/27/2021 03:36 pm »
So what is the likely payload capacity to LEO for a hypothetical, fully reusable New Glenn in 2040 when it comes online?

Around 30 tons? Or is that way off?
Somewhere in that ballpark.

Blue have landing engine in SL BE3, could even us them for low altitude tests like SpaceX has been doing wirh SS.



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Offline gefere

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #12 on: 07/27/2021 04:19 pm »
The question from me is if this "environment unfettered by rigorous management and paperwork processes" is working for this new project, why it's not being implemented in the company as a whole.

Because without a clear vision, the unfettered approach can be a disaster. It's great to be nimble but that won't help if you have no idea where you're going.

I love the SpaceX approach too, but companies don't adopt rigorous management and paperwork and all that for no reason. They give you a chance to stay in business despite mediocre leadership, and that is no small thing.

Offline gefere

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #13 on: 07/27/2021 04:29 pm »
Eric goes on to say that itís claimed the reusable 2nd stage is needed for NG to be profitable (presumably in terms of being price competitive with SpaceX).

This has basically no chance of being price-competitive, right? No commonality of materials between stages; presumably 2 engine types instead of one; a much slower production rate and so fewer economies of scale; and very likely a much lower flight rate, so fewer launches to amortize fixed costs across. I can't see where they'd make all that up.

Not that that makes this a bad approach---there's more to life than beating SpaceX, and it's still good to reduce costs. And for a well-funded company like Blue that's still finding it's way, there's no downside to trying lots of things in parallel if you can.

Offline Steve G

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #14 on: 07/27/2021 04:41 pm »
Bezos has no choice but to move towards full reusability. New Glenn's second stage is massive, larger than the Saturn V's  SIVB, and with the 7 meter fairings the cost per mission would be prohibitive. The New Glenn has all kinds of available margin to lose for reusability, and it would open a new range of possibilities with lower flight costs. The cost of development will be recovered eventually, and likely would have a higher flight cadence to make up for the investment.

Online meekGee

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #15 on: 07/27/2021 04:53 pm »
Bezos has no choice but to move towards full reusability. New Glenn's second stage is massive, larger than the Saturn V's  SIVB, and with the 7 meter fairings the cost per mission would be prohibitive. The New Glenn has all kinds of available margin to lose for reusability, and it would open a new range of possibilities with lower flight costs. The cost of development will be recovered eventually, and likely would have a higher flight cadence to make up for the investment.
Exactly.  Very good move for BO.

It's not that they worry about cost, but they do worry about relevancy.   Showing up in 2023 with a semi expendable rocket became a joke of a plan. Shifting to a fully reusable system is the only choice they had.

Who knows, maybe they can even make it happen on a comparable timescale.

This is a branching point for them.  Can they execute on NG S1 and on Jarvis, or will they again pull an ACES and just talk about it? 

I hope they'll be more transparent about their system moving forward.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #16 on: 07/27/2021 04:54 pm »
Bezos has no choice but to move towards full reusability. New Glenn's second stage is massive, larger than the Saturn V's  SIVB, and with the 7 meter fairings the cost per mission would be prohibitive.

I agree. Trouble is, the only vehicles previously recovered from orbit and reflown are capsules (Dragon and soon Starliner) and shuttle, with significant refurbishment required. Itís an enormous technical challenge, as it is for Starship, and Blue have limited experience to draw on. Iíd expect a number of test failures - they could do with a cheap reusable first stage Ö

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #17 on: 07/27/2021 05:00 pm »
I hope they'll be more transparent about their system moving forward.
Don't hold your breath.  I wouldn't count on it.

Offline joek

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #18 on: 07/27/2021 05:15 pm »
...
Not that that makes this a bad approach---there's more to life than beating SpaceX, and it's still good to reduce costs. And for a well-funded company like Blue that's still finding it's way, there's no downside to trying lots of things in parallel if you can.

Agree; Blue should be reasonably well funded and should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, so pursuing a variety of options in parallel makes sense ("should" still being something of a TBD).

As to beating SpaceX... they don't have to do that to stay relevant, they only need to offer a reasonable option. Think many in the industry would applaud that (and do so with $). Musk would also likely do so, although not with $.

Offline ZachF

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #19 on: 07/27/2021 06:04 pm »
Prudent move on Blue's part.
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