US firm unveils new rocket design to rival SpaceX’s Falcon 9
New York, Sep 13 (IANS) Blue Origin, Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos’s spaceflight company, has unveiled plans for its first orbital rockets that will be taller and more powerful than a SpaceX Falcon 9, media reports said.
The rockets named New Glenn after John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, are designed to launch commercial satellites and to fly humans into space, Bezos said.
The rocket has two variants — a two-stage version 270-foot rocket with 3.85 million pounds of thrust, and a larger three-stage version of that rocket standing 313 feet tall.
The rockets will have a booster capable of vertical landings, making it possible for Blue Origin to reuse the first stage of the rocket for launches that carry satellites into orbit and astronauts into space, Popular Mechanics reported on Monday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 stands 230 feet tall and puts out 1.7 million pounds of thrust.
“We plan to fly New Glenn for the first time before the end of this decade from historic Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral, Florida,” said Bezos in an email he sent out to announce the new orbital launch system.
“New Glenn is designed to launch commercial satellites and to fly humans into space. The 3-stage variant-with its high specific impulse hydrogen upper stage-is capable of flying demanding beyond-LEO missions,” Bezos noted.
If Blue Origin can fly this giant in the next three or four years, the competition with SpaceX to become the preeminent reusable rocket company will be on, the report said.