Staffing for @blueorigin in-space programs increased by a factor of four last year, to more than 1,000 employees, Brent Sherwood, Blue Origin sr vp for advanced programs, said during panel session at FAA Cmcl Space Transportation conference
*yeet tweet*QuoteStaffing for @blueorigin in-space programs increased by a factor of four last year, to more than 1,000 employees, Brent Sherwood, Blue Origin sr vp for advanced programs, said during panel session at FAA Cmcl Space Transportation conferenceThat’s a lot of people not working on launch.
Meanwhile on the chicken and space beat ... Blue Origin’s nonprofit, Club for the Future, will partner with Big Chicken’s leadership team and founder Shaquille O’Neal.Shaq's Big Chicken and Blue Origin Join Forces on Dream to Pursue Restaurant in Space"I’m proud to team up with Blue Origin to help inspire the next generation,” said Shaquille O’Neal, who opened the first Big Chicken location in 2018. “This first-of-its-kind partnership is a game changer and I’m excited to take the chicken sandwich game to a whole new level.”Maybe Jeff can send Shaq to space to convince him that the Earth is, in fact a sphere.Shaquille O'Neal Says His Flat-Earth Comments Are 'Just a Theory' While Questioning If Earth Spins
BLOG | FEB 10, 2023Blue Alchemist Technology Powers our Lunar FutureSince 2021, Blue Origin has been making solar cells and transmission wire from regolith simulants.To make long-term presence on the Moon viable, we need abundant electrical power. We can make power systems on the Moon directly from materials that exist everywhere on the surface, without special substances brought from Earth. We have pioneered the technology and demonstrated all the steps. Our approach, Blue Alchemist, can scale indefinitely, eliminating power as a constraint anywhere on the Moon.We start by making regolith simulants that are chemically and mineralogically equivalent to lunar regolith, accounting for representative lunar variability in grain size and bulk chemistry. This ensures our starting material is as realistic as possible, and not just a mixture of lunar-relevant oxides. We have developed and qualified an efficient, scalable, and contactless process for melting and moving molten regolith that is robust to natural variations in regolith properties on the Moon.Using regolith simulants, our reactor produces iron, silicon, and aluminum through molten regolith electrolysis, in which an electrical current separates those elements from the oxygen to which they are bound. Oxygen for propulsion and life support is a byproduct.Our process purifies silicon to more than 99.999%. This level of purity is required to make efficient solar cells. While typical silicon purification methods on Earth use large amounts of toxic and explosive chemicals, our process uses just sunlight and the silicon from our reactor.For protection from the harsh lunar environment, solar cells need cover glass; without it, they would only last for days. Our technique uses only molten regolith electrolysis byproducts to make cover glass that enables lunar lifetimes exceeding a decade.Because our technology manufactures solar cells with zero carbon emissions, no water, and no toxic ingredients or other chemicals, it has exciting potential to directly benefit the Earth.We assembled, in one laboratory, the people and facilities needed to transform regolith into solar cells and wires:People: Our team encompasses all disciplines needed to solve this unprecedented technical challenge: geologists, geochemists, electrochemists, metallurgists, materials and photovoltaic scientists, fluid dynamicists, mechanical and electrical engineers, roboticists, and instrument, space flight, and systems engineers.Facilities: Our laboratory is purpose-equipped for every step of the end-to-end process of transforming regolith into solar cells and aluminum wire, including quality and longevity testing.Although our vision is technically ambitious, our technology is real now. Blue Origin’s goal of producing solar power using only lunar resources is aligned with NASA’s highest priority Moon-to-Mars infrastructure development objective.Learning to live off the land – on the Moon and on Mars – will require extensive collaboration across the ISRU community. We are ready.
Blue Origin manufactured this working solar cell prototype from lunar regolith simulants.
Our proprietary transport subsystem moves and separates molten material at temperatures above 1600 degrees Celsius in a controlled and power-efficient manner while withstanding the high-temperature, corrosive environment.
Molten regolith electrolysis extracts iron, then silicon, and finally aluminum by passing a current through the molten regolith. The rising oxygen bubbles in one of our reactors show metals and metalloids being separated from oxygen. Our reactor geometry, metal extraction approach, and materials selection will enable sustained lunar operations.
Our novel process fabricates solar cells, including cover glass, using only products from our reactor. These long-lived cells resist degradation caused by radiation on the Moon. Here we show silicon melting as well as the thin-layer deposition that makes solar cells.
Our diverse team is equipped to produce solar cells and transmission wire from lunar regolith simulant.
Once demonstrated and implemented on the Moon, Blue Alchemist will put unlimited solar power wherever we need it.
This program (which looks fantastic) really correspends with a common theme in Reddit post by Blue employees, namely "we have so many things going on here we wish we could share". Those types of posts are often in response to criticism on Blue's visible progress.There's another theme that I've seen in a Reddit post stating that Jeff Bezos finally opened up to larger teams so big projects (New Glenn) will really start moving. "Amazon Unbound" has quotes that show a similar theme: Bezos wants/wanted small teams and a forced scarcity of resources. To me it all really paints a bigger picture of how, and why, Blue can have so much funding, be moving so slowly on major projects, and yet have a team that seems pretty unfazed by the pace that a lot of observers feel is too slow. It seems that behind the curtains they have a ton of cool things in progress. The side effect of this I feel is a highly diluted sense of both the workforce and their sense of urgency and an impedence to internal assement of progress.
Blue Origin makes a big lunar announcement without any fanfare"Although our vision is technically ambitious, our technology is real now."ERIC BERGER - 2/13/2023, 2:34 PMFor decades scientists and engineers have talked about using the dusty lunar surface to manufacture solar panels. All of the key ingredients for solar cells are present in this rocky and dusty regolith on the surface of the Moon—silicon, iron, magnesium, aluminum, and more.
In this depiction Blue Alchemist is shown constructing solar cells on the lunar surface.Blue Origin
New: Two separate lawsuits have been filed against Blue Origin alleging discriminatory hiring practices based on age, TechCrunch has learned.
https://twitter.com/breadfrom/status/1633485901937426432QuoteNew: Two separate lawsuits have been filed against Blue Origin alleging discriminatory hiring practices based on age, TechCrunch has learned.https://techcrunch.com/2023/03/08/two-separate-lawsuits-allege-ageist-hiring-practices-at-blue-origin/
Are they only hiring old space people?!
Earth is the best planet. Yet, its resources are limited. In space, there are abundant resources that will help humanity preserve Earth for future generations. We can go to space for what we need, and move the most polluting industries from Earth into the solar system where they can't stress our environment.Space is the long-term solution for Earth, humanity's blue origin. Join the mission.
The timing of this is rather suspect.
<snipped 8 minutes of talking heads>QuoteEarth is the best planet. Yet, its resources are limited. In space, there are abundant resources that will help humanity preserve Earth for future generations. We can go to space for what we need, and move the most polluting industries from Earth into the solar system where they can't stress our environment.Space is the long-term solution for Earth, humanity's blue origin. Join the mission.
Blue Origin is the first job I've had where I'm asked to solve space problems for next year, next decade, and next century; and all in the same workday. It's a *hard* challenge, but it's one that everyone on Team Blue is up to!Happy #yurisnight Earth!