Blue Origin Aerospace (updates)


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Beittil

New Shackleton to Shackleton crater doing some Shackletoning? 

 

 

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DocM

More likely their Blue Moon lander going to Shackleton crater.

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flyingskippy

They probably need to worry about getting to orbit before they set their sites on the moon or building a massive network of sats.

 

Have they figured out how to get the BE-4 over 70%?

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DocM
2 hours ago, flyingskippy said:

They probably need to worry about getting to orbit before they set their sites on the moon or building a massive network of sats.

 

Have they figured out how to get the BE-4 over 70%?

 

They've hit 80% with a development engine, but need to build another iteration. 

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flyingskippy

Can't launch a whole lot of military payloads with a rocket that only runs at 80%.

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DocM

Neither can ULA's Vulcan-Centaur, which has also baselined the BE-4 engine.

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DocM

 

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bguy_1986

Jeff Bezos unveils ‘Blue Moon’ lander

 

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During an invitation-only event in Washington on Thursday afternoon, Bezos unveiled a full-scale mock-up of the Blue Moon lander, a vehicle designed to initially deliver cargo, and eventually astronauts, to the lunar surface.

“This is Blue Moon,” Bezos said, moments after a curtain dropped to reveal a model of the lander. “We’ve been working on this lander for three years, it’s a very large lander. It’ll soft land in a precise way, 3.6 metric tons (7,936 pounds) onto the lunar surface. The stretched tank variant of it will soft land 6.5 metric tons (14,330 pounds) onto the lunar surface.”

Blue Origin, Bezos’s space company, previously announced the existence of the Blue Moon lander project. But Bezos disclosed additional details about the landing craft Thursday, including a new engine named the BE-7 to power the Blue Moon descent stage.

With Apollo 17 moonwalker Jack Schmitt, NASA officials, scientists, reporters, and school children in the audience, Bezos said the Blue Moon lander could help NASA achieve a goal set by the Trump administration to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.

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The orbital-class New Glenn rocket is set for its inaugural launch in 2021 from Cape Canaveral, using seven methane-fueled BE-4 booster engines. Manufactured in a newly-completed factory near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the New Glenn’s basic two-stage variant will be able to lift up to 45 metric tons — nearly 100,000 pounds — to low Earth orbit, and its first stage will return to land on a ship at sea, using a landing profile similar to the one used by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket boosters.

Blue Origin recently passed the 2,000-employee threshold, and plans to grow to 2,600 employees by the end of the year.

The Blue Moon has four landing legs, which could be folded to allow the spacecraft to fit in the 23-foot-wide (7-meter) payload envelope of Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket, Bezos said.

The Blue Moon spacecraft design displayed Thursday would serve as a landing vehicle for a range of scientific experiments, cargo pods, and robotic rovers. A stretched version of the Blue Moon with larger fuel tanks would be capable of delivering astronauts to the moon inside a pressurized compartment and an ascent stage to allow the crews to take off again.

“The deck is designed to be a very simple interface so that a great variety of payloads can be placed onto the top deck and secured,” Bezos said.

A davit crane, similar to a device used on naval vessels, will lower equipment from the lander’s top deck to the lunar surface.

Bezos did not say if Blue Origin would develop an ascent stage, or seek a partner for that critical element of a human-rated lunar lander. The stretched version of the Blue Moon described by Bezos could launch on the two-stage version of the New Glenn rocket, according to an industry source.

If a heavier crew module is required, an upsized three-stage New Glenn rocket, or even an expendable version of the launcher, could send more mass the moon, the industry official said.

The BE-7 engine announced Thursday will produce up to 10,000 pounds of thrust at full power, consuming a mixture of super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. The Apollo lunar lander developed in the 1960s used a blend of hydrazine fuel and nitrogen tetroxide, two liquids stored at room temperature that ignite on contact, making for a simpler engine.

 

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DocM

TBH, I was a bit underwhelmed. Blue Moon was already known. BE-7 being the lander thruster is "meh" as the need for a BM engine was obvious, making "what are BE-5 and BE-6?" the main question.

 

And let's not go into the space Twitterverse LOL'ing over a lander with <cough> blue balls <cough> blue spherical tanks.

 

IMO the biggest news item was Bezos talking up O'Neill cylinder colonies, which would mirror Arthur C. Clarke's Rama or Babylon 5. 

 

 

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision

I was expecting more as well.

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Beittil

My biggest disappointment was how he basically talked up this awesome vision of how to do things in space and then said... But we're not going to be doing any of that, we're only going to be building the infrastructure to space. 

 

But even though Blue has apparently already invested greatly in Blue Moon, it comes across as if they would never actually launch one unless Uncle Sam (or NASA) foots the bill for it. 

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  • 2 months later...
DocM

 

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  • 4 months later...
DocM

 

 

 

 

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Beittil

I still wonder what they encountered to make them wait for 7 months since that last flight. 

 

They were all like... We will be flying people before the end of the year and then around the summer somewhere it was all of a sudden like... "Yeah, we're slowing that down a notch again." Gah

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Astra.Xtreme

They have a lot of movement with their new construction at KSC and Huntsville, AL (btw, the cranes in that building are an engineering marvel), but they still seem to be a ways behind SpaceX, Boeing, Rocket Lab, and even NASA.  Sending their rocket up and down over and over is cool and all, but shouldn't they be jumping into the orbital stage to show their potential?

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DocM

Flight 12 goes live about 1100 Eastern today

 

 

 

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Astra.Xtreme
39 minutes ago, DocM said:

Flight 12 goes live about 1100 Eastern today

 

 

 

Launch scrubbed due to weather. 

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  • 11 months later...
DocM

Blue Origin's Chief Operating Officer, is OUT... (not a surprise)

 

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/12/02/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-coo-leaving-to-pursue-other-opportunities.html

 

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COO of Jeff Bezos' space venture Blue Origin is leaving to pursue other opportunities

 

The chief operating officer of Jeff Bezos' private space company Blue Origin is leaving, the company confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday.

 

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith wrote in an e-mail to the company that COO Terry Benedict's last day will be Friday, Dec. 3, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. While those people said Smith did not elaborate in the e-mail as to why Benedict is leaving, Blue Origin confirmed his departure to CNBC.

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His departure comes with the company behind schedule on several pieces of its ambitious portfolio of rockets and engines. Blue Origin is seeking to compete against the likes of Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk's SpaceX in the sectors of sub-orbital space tourism and heavy lift rockets, respectively. Bezos' company is also leading a consortium with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper to win further NASA contracts to build an astronaut lunar lander, competing against SpaceX and Leidos' subsidiary Dynetics.

 

Four years ago Blue Origin's leadership expected its space tourism rocket New Shepard to launch people by the end of 2017. But the company has not put a crew in the rocket's capsule as of its latest flight in October – and plans to conduct at least three more uncrewed test flights before doing so.

 

The company also missed out in the latest round Pentagon launch contracts, with SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) splitting the awards made in August. Blue Origin had bid its New Glenn rocket, which is in development. Originally scheduled to launch in 2020, the company now expects New Glenn's inaugural launch no earlier than late 2021.

 

Blue Origin's flagship BE-4 engine, which powers both New Glenn and ULA's Vulcan rocket, has seen delays in development. An issue with the BE-4 turbopumps was identified earlier this year, but ULA CEO Tory Bruno three months later said that the problem was "sorted out."

 

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  • 4 months later...
DocM

 

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DocM

Sounds like ULA/Blue/Space Force  atmosphere is getting toxic.

 

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07/increasingly-the-ula-blue-origin-marriage-is-an-unhappy-one/

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WHERE ARE MY ENGINES, JEFF? —

 

Increasingly, the ULA-Blue Origin marriage is an unhappy one

 

"It does no good to throw Blue Origin under the bus."

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This has been especially of concern to United Launch Alliance, which is relying on Blue Origin-built engines for its new Vulcan rocket. The US Space Force is also watching, [...]

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Privately, multiple sources say, the relationship between Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance is not good.[...]

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So in light of the BE-4 delays might ULA reconsider the AR1 engine? Sources said this was unlikely, at least for now. [...] However, this may not always be the case.

 

One industry official said some work, in the background, has been ongoing for potentially using the AR1 engine. Neither ULA nor Aerojet commented on questions about this. [...]

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DocM

So, several more months for hiring, training, early BE4 builds, testing those in Texas, until Blue finally gets their act  together?

 

Link...

 

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Blue Origin announces ‘hiring blitz’ at Alabama rocket engine plant

 

Blue Origin has announced a hiring blitz this week seeking skilled machinists and welders to begin building the reusable rocket engines it erected a giant plant to produce in Alabama.

 

The company wants to hire “more than 80 skilled machinists and welders in Huntsville, Alabama, who are passionate about the company’s mission to lower the cost of access to space,” a company news release said. “We aim to fill these roles within two months to support continued company growth.”

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  • 2 weeks later...
Steven P.

Strange that Bezos space trip was not added here?

 

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DocM

I was glad to see Wally Funk got a ride. She was one of the Mercury 12, women who trained for Mercury but never got a chance to fly because of their gender. Dumb. 

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