Jeff Bezos’ New Rocket to Compete with SpaceX
The current CEO and founder of Amazon Inc., Jeff Bezos, on Monday 10th October 2016 unveiled a giant reusable New Rocket. The Rocket is planned to compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 owned by Elon Musk who is a renowned billionaire entrepreneur and other companies as well.
He is planning the launch through his Blue Origin LLC space company based in Kent, Washington. By doing this, Bezos will raise the bar on the US commercial space industry by a remarkable margin. The New Glenn Rocket will be able to carry not only astronauts, but also cargo into space.
The fact that thrusters will be usable will save millions of dollars. The New Glenn Rocket is specifically designed for relatively longer missions into deep space, meaning it can reach the moon.
Glenn got its name from John Glenn, a prominent NASA astronaut who is a famous for being the first ever American to orbit the Earth in the 1960s. John Glenn is the sole survivor of NASA’S Mercury Seven Astronauts. Glenn main purpose is to propel commercial satellites and more interestingly to take people into space.
New Glenn has been unknown to the public for the past four years, as works on it began in 2012. Jeff Bezos is known to be a quiet and secretive man, that’s why the announcement came as a big surprise. He did this in a morning detailed email to Reuters and a twitter post.
The new rocket will be named New Glenn as mentioned. One of its prominent features is that one will be 270 feet (82 meters) tall besides having a thrust of 3.85 million pounds. The 270 feet tall is for the two stage version. The three stage version will feature 313 feet and 23 feet diameter.
SpaceX on the other hand is 230 feet tall and has a thrust of 1.7 million pounds. New Glenn is intended to have a booster which will enable vertical landing. This will make sure that Blue Origin can reuse the rocket’s first stage for satellite launches and even manned spacecraft.
It will have a cluster of 7 main BE-4 engines using liquid oxygen and burning liquefied natural gas. The third stage is fueled by a vacuum optimized BE-3 engine which uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
The Blue Origin’s New Glenn is expected to be launched before the year 2020. It is planned to be flied from the world renowned Launch Complex in Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center which is a rocket manufacturing plant adjacent to the former. Blue Origin plans to fly the first stage back to a landing pad for refurbishment and re-flowing, just like Musk did with his Falcon rockets.
SpaceX for instance has managed to land rockets successfully six times, four times in the ocean and twice on the ground. Its 7th landing was slated for September 3rd but unfortunately it did not happen. This was because its rocket was damaged during a routine before-launch test 48 hours before liftoff. This happened at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and the main cause of the accident is still not known. The damage caused a 200 million dollar loss.