#Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com and Blue Origin and the owner of the Washington Post, revealed some more details of his rocket company’s New Glenn rocket along with an impressive video of it taking off and landing. Bezos also announced that a customer has already been lined up for the rocket’s first flight.
The new Glenn will be a two stage rocket capable of putting 45 tons of payload into low #Earth Orbit and 13 tons into a geostationary transfer orbit. The rocket will be capable of 100 reuses as the first stage will return to Earth and land just like the first stages of Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard and SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
The New Glenn will be joining the SpaceX Falcon Heavy which can take 54 tons to low Earth orbit, and the NASA-built Space Launch System which will initially take 70 tons to LEO and eventually 130 tons. New Glenn and Falcon Heavy will be cheaper to operate due to their reusability.
The first test flight of the New Glenn will be in 2019, Bezos claimed Blue Origin has already signed a contract with French TV provider Eutelsat to put up a satellite in geostationary orbit in the 2021-22 time frame.
The development of commercially operated reusable rockets with the lift capacity of the New Glenn and the Falcon Heavy represents a new era in space flight. That the United States will have not one but three heavy lift rockets at its disposal, albeit one more expensive to operate than the other two, will go a long way toward enabling the exploration of the moon, Mars and beyond. SpaceX has already proposed sending two paying passengers around the moon by 2018. Blue Origin has offered an “Amazon-style” delivery service to the moon to help facilitate the construction of a moon base.
The New Glenn is named after the late John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. Blue Origin is already planning a next generation rocket, the New Armstrong, that will be named after the late Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The New Armstrong will be an actual moon rocket on the scale of a Saturn V.