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Blue Origin Aerospace (updates)

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Beittil    547

New Shackleton to Shackleton crater doing some Shackletoning? 

 

 

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DocM    16,148

More likely their Blue Moon lander going to Shackleton crater.

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flyingskippy    165

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    16,148
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    165

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

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DocM    16,148

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

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mrau95    203

37 hey

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DocM    16,148

 

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bguy_1986    350

Jeff Bezos unveils ‘Blue Moon’ lander

 

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Quote

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.

Quote

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    16,148

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    2,643

I was expecting more as well.

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Beittil    547

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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