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Blue Origin Aerospace (updates)

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Beittil    571

It's going to be a cool engine for sure, just to bad for the DoD that it requires an entirely New rocket and can't ever 'just' be dropped in on the Atlas V :)

Which is pretty much the opposite of what they are looking for, hehe

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DocM    16,433

Vulcan can use the Delta IV 5 meter tanks, perhaps with a slight stretch. That'll save all new tooling. Where they really save is by not having to use an engine, valves and plumbing that is resistant to liquid hydrogen embrittlement.

Methane plumbing is far easier and cheaper, plus they can ditch and replace the sticking fuel valves that have plagued Delta IV and Delta IV Heavy from the beginning. That was the cause of the scrub of the Orion test flight.

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Draggendrop    5,747

SpaceNews article about Blue Origin future space tourism.....

 

 

 

On the experience of weightlessness, Patrick said, "It opens up possibilities for movement that you've just never had here on Earth. It's a shared experience with your crew, but it's also profoundly personal. So you really feel a part of the unfathomable depths of the cosmos."

Blue Origin has not said when commercial flights aboard the New Shepard spacecraft will be available or how much they will cost, but interested parties can fill out an information form on the company website to receive "early access to pricing information and tickets when we open reservations."

http://www.space.com/29728-blue-origin-private-spaceflight-video.html

 

post-546174-0-11470800-1435211293.jpg

http://www.space.com/29728-blue-origin-private-spaceflight-video.html

 

 

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DocM    16,433

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2015/08/19/space-florida-approves-bonus-pay-plan/32003077/

 

Florida nears launch deal with Blue Origin

Space Florida [note: a state agency] is in the final stages of negotiations expected to earn Blue Origin's commitment to build rockets in Brevard County and launch them from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The agency's board today gave its approval for staff to finalize the terms of financing and lease agreements with the private space company founded by Amazon.com CEO and billionaire Jeff Bezos, which aims to lower the cost of launching people to orbit.

The board meeting's discussion referred to the deal only by its code name of Project Panther, which FLORIDA TODAY sources have previously confirmed involves Blue Origin.

Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello said he expected more details to be made public "in the next month or so."

Howard Haug, Space Florida's treasurer and chief investment officer, said the deal represented more than $200 million of investment and several hundred jobs.

The funding will include $18 million combined from the Florida Department of Transportation, which supports aerospace infrastructure, and from the North Brevard Economic Development Zone.

FLORIDA TODAY earlier this year reported that the deal envisioned Blue Origin flying orbital missions from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 36. A manufacturing facility would be built in Exploration Park, the research and development park located just outside Kennedy Space Center's south gate.

Blue Origin is currently developing the New Shepard vehicle for suborbital flights of space tourists and science experiments launching from the company's private launch site in West Texas.

While developing a larger orbital rocket that would launch from Florida, the company also is developing an engine that United Launch Alliance hopes will power a new rocket slated to replace the Atlas V and its Russian-made engine.
>

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DocM    16,433

Blue Origin BE-4 methane engine on the test stand. Looks like an early development engine.

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Draggendrop    5,747

As per Doc's Florida/Blue Origin post...here is another article...

Blue Origin Plans September Announcement in Florida

burchandbezos05-1024x768-879x485.thumb.j
Jeff Bezos (right), seen here with United Launch Alliance's Tory Bruno at a September 2014 press conference, will make a Sept. 15 announcement in Florida about Blue Origin's plans there. Credit: SpaceNews/Brian Berger

WASHINGTON — Commercial space transportation company Blue Origin said Aug. 24 that it will make an announcement in Florida in September widely believed to be linked to proposals to build and launch rockets from there.

In a statement, the company said that Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Blue Origin, “will make a significant announcement regarding the emerging commercial launch industry” Sept. 15 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The company offered no other details about the nature of the planned announcement.

Blue Origin has been tied in recent months to an effort by Space Florida, the state’s space development organization, for developing a manufacturing and launch site at Cape Canaveral. Space Florida has been involved in negotiations for what it calls “Project Panther,” which minutes of the organization’s public board meetings describe as “a company evaluating Florida site selection in conjunction with operational activities including manufacturing and payload processing facilities.”

 

The Space Florida documents don’t explicitly identify Blue Origin as the Project Panther company. However, in April the newspaper Florida Today linked Project Panther to Blue Origin when Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) told the publication that he had been in discussions with Bezos regarding a Florida facility for Blue Origin.

Project Panther, according to public documents, involves “securing long-term land and facility use agreements at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport Complex from Space Florida for properties Space Florida either currently holds such rights or has the option to acquire rights.” The Space Florida board approved a motion at its most recent board meeting Aug. 19 to allow the organization’s management to complete negotiations on those agreements.

Blue Origin, based in the Seattle suburb of Kent, Washington, owns its own test site in West Texas that it has used for flight tests of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle. However, the company has aspirations to develop an orbital launch vehicle as well. “Our long-term goal is to build orbital launch vehicle capabilities,” Blue Origin president Rob Meyerson said at an April press conference about the company’s engine development work.

Meyerson, at that press conference, said that the company was looking at several locations in the United States for a future orbital launch site. “We’re looking at a number of states, and we’re not releasing which states those are,” he said, but added that “Florida is one of those states.”

 

 

 http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-plans-september-announcement-in-florida/

Cheers.....

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Draggendrop    5,747

Blue Origin Reaches Milestone in BE-4 Engine Development 

BE-4-Web1-879x485.thumb.jpg.c87ce3d79468
Testing of components of the BE-4 engine is in progress at Blue Origin's facilities in West Texas. Credit: Blue Origin photo 

WASHINGTON — Blue Origin said Sept. 30 that it has completed more than 100 developmental tests of its BE-4 engine, which the company is building both for United Launch Alliance and its own vehicle.

The company said in a statement that the staged-combustion tests, performed at the company’s test site in West Texas, provided “measurable performance data” about the engine for its upcoming critical design review. That data covered various elements of the engine’s design and its manufacturing techniques, including the use of 3-D printing.

“We tested a number of injector element designs and chamber lengths at a variety of operational conditions,” said Rob Meyerson, president of Blue Origin, in the statement. “Rigorous component testing ahead of full-engine testing significantly increases confidence in the development schedule and projected performance.”

The BE-4 engine, under development by Blue Origin since 2011, uses liquefied natural gas and liquid oxygen propellants, and is designed to produce up to 550,000 pounds-force of thrust. The BE-4 will be the first large engine to use that propellant combination, although SpaceX has said it is working on a large engine called Raptor that uses the same propellants.

The company did not disclose a schedule for future development of the engine in its statement, and spokeswoman Julie Arnold declined to provide an estimated date for the engine’s critical design review. In an April press briefing, Meyerson said full engine tests would take place in 2016, with the engine ready for service in 2017.

Blue Origin is developing BE-4 for the first stage of an orbital launch vehicle it announced during a Sept. 15 event at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Blue Origin plans to manufacture and launch that vehicle there, building facilities that include a test stand to carry out acceptance tests of the BE-4.

The BE-4 engine is also the leading candidate to be used in the first stage of ULA’s Vulcan vehicle. Speaking to reporters after the Sept. 15 Florida event, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos said that while he was aware of competing engines for the Vulcan, like the AR-1 under development by Aerojet Rocketdyne, he was focused on completing the BE-4. “We’re going to build the best 21st century engine that we can for ULA,” he said. “Ultimately they will make the decision about what they want to do.”

Bezos also noted that, unlike the AR-1 or other concepts, Blue Origin was not seeking funding from the U.S. Air Force to help pay for development of the BE-4. “The most unique feature of the BE-4 engine is that it’s fully funded,” he said. “It’s not something you see in rocket engine programs very often.”

 

http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-reaches-milestone-in-be-4-engine-development/

Fully funded by Bezos...gotta love this...newspace ventures owning their engines.......:D

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DocM    16,433

There not a full BE-4 engine - it's a pre-burner test. That's about 1/3 of the powerhead, the part of the engine above the combustion chamber. Basically, the pre-burner ignites a fuel-(or oxygen)-rich mixture. They have a lot left to do.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Sounds like they are working their way up, sub assembly at a time, similar to Raptor development. I assume that they must be close, in order to state "engine tests beginning in 2016"....?.....:)

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DocM    16,433

2016 may be pushing it as I undershand this was a subscale unit. SpaceX's recent Raptor oxygen-rich combustor test (different on a full flow SC) was of a full sized unit pushing full power.

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Unobscured Vision    2,657

I'm happy with anyone pushing new technology, especially NewSpace Companies who are footing the bill themselves for development.

And if the BE-4 is selected by ULA, it means that NewSpace has effectively won. 

It makes SO much sense for ULA to use the BE-4 .. minimal (still substantial) reconfiguring required, minimal (but still substantial) everything. Take the opportunity to update your Delta-IV and Atlas-V platforms with these engines and some better design changes while you're at it, give them the capability to eject the engine cores (so they can be reused), and bump up the version numbers for rebranding.

All that's left to do is test the changes, and for goodness sake ditch the current Engine Core Retrieval Plan, ULA.

Good going, Blue Origin. You're gonna be swimming in money if you pull it off. :yes:

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DocM    16,433

Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  9m9 minutes ago
Meyerson: next New Shepard test flight next the end of this year. Want to get through test program before starting to sell tix. #ispcs

@StephenClark1
Meyerson: BE-4 engine for Vulcan and our orbital launcher entering critical design review phase. Development engine testing next yr. #ISPCS

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Draggendrop    5,747

Blue Origin Plans To Begin Commercial Suborbital Research Flights in 2016 

blueorigin_launch-879x485.thumb.jpg.a980
The New Shepard space vehicle blasts off on its first developmental test flight over Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site April 29. The crew capsule reached apogee at 93,600 meters before beginning its descent back to Earth. Credit: Blue Origin photo 

WASHINGTON — Blue Origin expects to start launching commercial payloads on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle by the middle of next year, hoping to reinvigorate interest in flying experiments on such vehicles, a company official said Nov. 10. 

Erika Wagner, business development manager for Blue Origin, said the company was making plans for another test flight of its New Shepard vehicle by the end of this year which, if successful, would keep the company on track for commercial flights of payloads, but not people, in 2016.

“We’re aiming for the second quarter of next year,” she said at a microgravity workshop organized by Houston-based NanoRacks, a company partnering with Blue Origin to provide standardized payload accommodations for experiments flying on New Shepard.

That schedule, she said, depends on the progress Blue Origin makes with test flights of the vehicle. The company launched New Shepard on an April 29 flight from its West Texas test site. Although the vehicle’s propulsion module failed to make a powered landing because of a problem with its hydraulics system, the rest of the vehicle performed well. “If you had been on board that flight, you would have had a great day,” she said.

The next test flight, she said, is planned to take place by the end of the year, a schedule that Blue Origin president Rob Meyerson also gave in an Oct. 7 speech at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Neither Meyerson nor Wagner said how many additional test flights the company expects to fly before beginning commercial payload flights.

Wagner added that the schedule for beginning commercial flights also depends on when the company receives its commercial launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration. The April flight of New Shepard took place under an experimental permit, which allows for tests of suborbital vehicles, but prohibits carrying payloads for hire.

The permit, though, does allow the company to fly payloads on the vehicle without charging. Wagner said that the company has several “pathfinder” payloads contributed by researchers that will fly on a New Shepard test flight in the next few months.

One of the people providing payloads for those test flights, Steven Collicott, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University, said he’s pleased with what he has seen so far from Blue Origin. “There’s a wealth of control, power and data options” for experiments, he said. “It’s really very impressive.”

The payload accommodations for experiments on New Shepard are similar to the middeck lockers used for International Space Station experiments, but Wagner said Blue Origin and NanoRacks, which handles payload sales and integration for New Shepard flights, can accommodate customized experiments as well. The companies are offering a special option for student experiments, similar in size to a two-unit cubesat, for $5,300.

Wagner also said that, as Blue Origin ramps up research flights, it will offer additional features for those payloads. Those include access to the capsule’s large windows, externally mounted experiments, and hands-on access to experiments by crewmembers during flight. While Blue Origin is planning to carry out dedicated research flights on a quarterly basis, she said the vehicle can be prepared for another flight within 24 hours for those experiments that require rapid turnaround.

Blue Origin’s activities come as interest in commercial suborbital research flights, which was strong several years ago, has faded as companies developing those vehicles suffered delays. Collicott, a member of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Suborbital Applications Researchers Group, advocated for suborbital research in a talk at the annual meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research here Nov. 12.

“People say to me, ‘Well, the rocket’s aren’t flying. They’re not ready for me today,’” he said to an audience primarily of researchers. “My answer is, ‘That’s fine. Is your experiment ready today?’” In most cases, he said, they’re not, giving scientists time to seek funding and build experiment hardware as suborbital vehicles continue their development.

“Real flights are happening,” he added, noting that besides the development work by Blue Origin and other companies, he flew an experiment on a commercial sounding rocket launched by UP Aerospace from Spaceport America in New Mexico Nov. 6. “This is not a future endeavor.” 

 http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-plans-to-begin-commercial-suborbital-research-flights-in-2016/

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Unobscured Vision    2,657

Suborbital, huh? Guess they have to start somewhere.

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DocM    16,433

The suborbital bird serves several purposes,

1) revenue from joyrides and experimental microgravity payloads

2) flight history for both the stage and the BE-3 LH2 engine which,

3) will form the basis of their large launchers upper stage

4) the suborbital spacecrafts systems will evolve into their orbital crew spacecrafts  systems, it being a biconic capsule

And they have little interest in military or commercial satellite launches. Blues focus is manned spaceflight.

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Beittil    571

Yesterday BO flew New Shepard to space and landed both the capsule AND the rocket safely back at their base!!!!!

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Unobscured Vision    2,657

Congratulations to them. :yes: And they used parachutes part of the way down, which is a really good idea imho -- and did the last leg on powered flight.

Nicely done!

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Beittil    571

Parachutes were on the capsule, not the rocket stage.

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DocM    16,433

Between Blue and SpaceX the excuses for non-reuse from OldSpace have gone bye-bye. 

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DocM    16,433

The back n forth begins,

@elonmusk
Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL on their booster
>
It is, however, important to clear up the difference between "space" and "orbit", as described well byhttps://t.co/7PD42m37fZ
>
Getting to space needs ~Mach 3, but GTO orbit requires ~Mach 30. The energy needed is the square, i.e. 9 units for space and 900 for orbit.
>
@TobiasVdb The F9 booster can reach low orbit as a single stage if not carrying the upper stage and a heavy satellite.

@jeffbezos
The rarest of beasts - a used rocket. Controlled landing not easy, but done right, can look easy. Check out video:https://t.co/9OypFoxZk3

@elonmusk
@JeffBezos Not quite "rarest". SpaceX Grasshopper rocket did 6 suborbital flights 3 years ago & is still around.https://t.co/6j9ERKCNZl
>
But credit for 1st reusable suborbital rocket goes to X-15https://t.co/LSb0f8FLJd
And Burt Rutan for commercial
https://t.co/TGWlNjsyQz

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Draggendrop    5,747

They did well landing the unit....taking nothing away from them....but, big difference when compared to the speed, range and horizontal component of flight...and landing on a rolling, movable deck with a large Falcon 9 first stage.:)

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DocM    16,433

Flight restrictions around Blues test site. Looks like a New Shepard test flight.

 

FDC 6/4629 ZAB NM..AIRSPACE VAN HORN, TX..TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS DUE TO SPACE FLIGHT OPERATIONS WITHIN AN AREA DEFINED AS 17NM RADIUS OF 3127N10446W OR THE SALT FLAT /SFL/ VORTAC 125 DEGREE RADIAL AT 24NM, SFC TO UNL. PURSUANT TO 14CFR SECTION 91.143 TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT. AUDREY POWERS, TELEPHONE 432-207-2132, IS IN CHARGE OF OPERATION. ALBUQUERQUE ARTCC /ZAB/, TELEPHONE 505-856-4500, IS THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY. DLY 1300-2100 1601201300-1601222100

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Draggendrop    5,747

They relaunched her...

 

 

 

will try to dig up more data...

 

edit...bit more here...

https://www.blueorigin.com/news

 

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Draggendrop    5,747
Draggendrop    5,747

From Friday morning...

 

 

 

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