The spaceflight company Blue Origin is hard at work preparing for the first launch of the New Glenn — a powerful, heavy-lift rocket.
Just this week, the company has assembled the first, full-scale BE-4 rocket engine, which will propel the New Glenn during its first mission. The team has been working on this vital hardware component since 2011. Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos recently tweeted the exciting news, stating that two more complete BE-4 engines are soon to follow.
According to the BE-4 rocket engine factsheet, Blue Origin partnered with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) in order to develop this powerful piece of hardware. At full power, the engine has been designed to produce 2,400 kN of thrust.
The BE-4 engine made another heading-lining appearance on Bezos’s twitter feed. This time, the engine was laid on its side in a structure referred to as its “transport cradle.”
Seven of these powerful engines will be used in the New Glenn’s design. The rocket will be able to carry a heavy payload, passengers, and land after launch. Since this has landing capabilities, it has to potential to be used again for future missions.
The New Glenn will range from 270 feet to 313 feet in height, and the diameter will measure about 23 feet. The height range exists because there will be two New Glenn rockets — a 2-stage and a 3 -stage version.
“Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step,” says Bezos.
The New Glenn will be assembled at Blue Origin’s manufacturing facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The company hopes to launch the rocket before the end of the decade. The ULA also plans to incorporate the powerful BE-4 engines into their new rocket called the Vulcan, which is scheduled to fly by 2019.
Until then, watch the New Glenn concept launch and land in the video below!
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense