Blue Origin unveils its reusable New Glenn manned rocket
Comparison of the size of New Glenn rockets with other devices
According to information on the website of the NASA flight control center, Blue Origin introduced the new New Glenn orbital LV rocket. Of the known characteristics, one can name a diameter of 7 meters (23 feet) and 1.75 million kilograms (3.85 million pounds) of rocket thrust. For comparison: New Glenn’s direct competitor, the Falcon 9, is 3.7 meters in diameter and has a thrust of 2.31 million kilograms.
The rocket itself is two-stage. The first stage will be equipped with seven BE-4 engines, which use a mixture of methane and liquid oxygen as fuel. The second stage will be equipped with a modified BE-4U engine. As Bezos plans, New Glenn will compete with the SpaceX Falcon family of heavy rockets and compete in the orbit and ISS cargo delivery market.
Although SpaceX was a pioneer in terms of developing and launching rockets with a returnable and potentially reusable first stage, the appearance of competitors was only a matter of time. Today, a private aerospace company, Blue Origin, presented to the public a project of its own rocket with a return first stage. This is evidenced not only by the news on the official website of NASA, but also by Twitter of the founder of the company, Jeffrey Bezos:
New Glenn is not the first Blue Origin project. Previously, the company experienced return stages on the New Shepard rocket, whose target audience is space tourists.
Blue Origin video about the launch of New Shepard and the successful return of the step to the ground
In 2015, many noticed that while Elon Musk loads cargo into orbit and puts the first step of the Falcon 9 on the “five” barge in the middle of the ocean, the guys from Blue Origin are amused vertical launches of a much lighter prototype and its landing on land (and not at sea). A little less than a year has passed since then, and Blue Origin has taken the next step to challenge SpaceX's position in the cargo delivery market using reusable steps.