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new Blue Origin orbital rocket
Blue Origin has announced a new rocket they've been working on for several years, called New Glenn.  This one is an orbital launcher, nearly as big as the Saturn V.

Here's a nice graphic showing how current and near-future offerings stack up (with the Saturn V for reference).

[Image: BlueOrigin_NewGlenTA-2-1024x768.jpg]

Wired has a great article about it.  This New York Times piece is pretty good too, if you can forgive the imperial units.

Like SpaceX, Blue Origin is planning to land the first stage (probably on a barge) and reuse it on multiple flights.

This is really exciting news for space development — to drive performance up and costs down, you need a mature industry with some actual competition.  SpaceX has been so far ahead of the "old guard" that they essentially had no competition.  Now they will — I expect to see both companies launching frequently, with prices continuing to drop.  Falling prices will widen the market, enabling customers and applications that weren't possible before.  And a larger market means more flights, which will cause prices to fall further.

And I also dig Jeff Bezos (leader of Blue Origin)'s attitude about space development.  From what I've read in the past, he has a very practical view, where first we develop cislunar space, and then expand our way outward from there.  This makes a lot more sense than the current obsession with Mars that you see in some circles.  Smile

All in all, very exciting times.  Who knows?  Maybe we will finally start settling the high frontier in the next few decades!

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

(09-15-2016, 11:55 AM)JoeStrout Wrote: And I also dig Jeff Bezos (leader of Blue Origin)'s attitude about space development.

More on that just came out in this Washington Post piece, Jeff Bezos on nuclear reactors in space, the lack of bacon on Mars and humanity’s destiny in the solar system .

In High Frontier terms, Bezos things NASA should be working on this project:

[Image: mz8k5TW.png]

Makes good sense to me!

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier


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