Blue Origin, the rocket company created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, appears to be planning its first sub-orbital flight of 2020. Space Explored has learned that Blue Origin is planning to attempt the 13th launch of its New Shepard vehicle in September.
Blue Origin Stories Yesterday
Blue Origin Stories August 20
NASA plans to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, and the Artemis mission to do that will include a commercially developed lunar human landing system. In April, the agency awarded initial funding to three human landing system proposals that will compete to be selected for the mission.
SpaceX, Dynetics, and The National Team (Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper) were each awarded initial funding. Today, The National Team delivered on a major milestone in the process.
An engineering mockup of the Blue Origin-led human landing system has been delivered to the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Blue Origin Stories August 11
In a widely anticipated announcement, U.S. Space Force and Air Force officials awarded Phase II of U.S. national security missions launch contracts to ULA and SpaceX as the primary launch providers through 2027. The NSSL (National Security Space Launch) Contract is a firm-fixed-price that will support launches planned from fiscal 2022 – fiscal 2027.
These contracts include early integration studies, launch service support, fleet surveillance, launch vehicle production, mission integration, mission launch operations, mission assurance, spaceflight worthiness, and mission unique activities for each mission.
Blue Origin Stories May 4
Blue Origin is not the most public-facing rocket company on the planet.
Try to take a close-up shot of the front of Blue Origin’s Orbital Launch System manufacturing facility in Florida, and a very friendly security guard will insist that you immediately exit the parking lot.
This doesn’t deter space fans from closely following the rocket company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Starting today, Blue Origin is taking a cue from the billionaire’s other company and launching an online store.
Blue Origin Stories April 30
NASA is returning astronauts to the Moon in this decade for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972. The Artemis program will see the first woman and next man walk on the Moon by 2024. The program will rely on NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, and Orion capsule for transporting astronauts from Earth to the Moon.
Artemis will also require a modern human landing system, or HLS, and today NASA announced which companies will be tasked with developing the new hardware.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and Leidos subsidiary Dynetics have been selected as commercial partners to design and develop NASA’s modern human landing system.
NASA outlines how each company’s proposal for new human landing systems:
- Blue Origin of Kent, Washington, is developing the Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV) – a three-stage lander to be launched on its own New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system.
- Dynetics (a Leidos company) of Huntsville, Alabama, is developing the Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) – a single structure providing the ascent and descent capabilities that will launch on the ULA Vulcan launch system.
- SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is developing the Starship – a fully integrated lander that will use the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket.
Here’s how each Human Landing System proposal will work:
Blue Origin Stories April 2
Leadership at Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket company appears to be struggling with how to navigate major mission milestones in the age of the coronavirus.
Loren Grush published new reporting for The Verge that illustrates conflict between employees and management, citing four anonymous employee sources including audio recorded from a recent meeting.
Blue Origin Stories March 3
Blue Origin announced the completion of its 7 meter fairing for New Glenn today with two behind-the-scenes videos.
Blue Origin isn’t just working on New Glenn, a giant rocket with double the usable volume of existing rockets.
The Jeff Bezos-owned space company is testing its New Shepard with a goal of taking paying customers to space. Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said this to Miriam Kramer at Axios today regarding that mission:
Blue Origin Stories February 20
SpaceX isn’t the only American company promising private citizens trips to space in the near future. Blue Origin, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, is currently developing a reusable suborbital rocket system called New Shepard.
While neither spaceflight is operational for private citizens (or NASA astronauts for that matter) yet, SpaceX and Blue Origin are promising very different versions of going to space for potential paying customers.