Blue Origin Aerospace (updates)


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So Rogers is ######## with Space flight and multi million dollar contracts, for 100 jobs. Which at the top end would pay salaries of what 1 to 2 mil a year. Man these guys need to get their heads out of their ass's. This is why USA politics is so stupid that this sort of crap can go on.

 

The only reason reason to use AR1 instead of BE-4 are:

 

1. Price - if it performs the same and is cheaper all around. Then its the way to go.

2. Diversity - If Falcon uses Merlin's/Raptors, New Glenn uses BE-4, then Vulcan Uses AR1 an issue with 1 engine will mean less downtime for launches.

 

Also Orbital can keep using Russian engines.

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Preaching to the choir, 1st. It blows, and it's a bipartisan blow. At least Babs Mikulski retired this election cycle. Now, if only a dump truck would run over Shelby.....

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/sigh

 

Hard to comprehend. Finally get THE holy grail of engines available to them, and this TOOL wants to make a scene because they aren't going to be built in his State.

 

ULA have already committed to the BE-4 -- does he not understand that? Or does he not care?

 

6 hours ago, IsItPluggedIn said:

So Rogers is ######## with Space flight and multi million dollar contracts, for 100 jobs. Which at the top end would pay salaries of what 1 to 2 mil a year. Man these guys need to get their heads out of their ass's. This is why USA politics is so stupid that this sort of crap can go on.

 

The only reason reason to use AR1 instead of BE-4 are:

 

1. Price - *if it performs the same and is cheaper all around. Then its the way to go.

2. Diversity - If Falcon uses Merlin's/Raptors, New Glenn uses BE-4, then Vulcan Uses **AR1 an issue with 1 engine will mean less downtime for launches.

 

Also Orbital can keep using Russian engines.

*The only reason to choose the AR-1 over the BE-4 is if ULA want to keep using the Atlas-V chassis -- **but they'll need to re-tool it to accept two AR-1's (because a single AR-1 isn't going to be as powerful as an RD-180, so they'll need two) as well as lengthen the S1 to accommodate longer fuel tanks (because two engines are going to need more fuel) ... BUT that new, retooled Atlas-V NG  (next generation) with all five solids strapped to it should be nearly as powerful as a Delta-IV Heavy by then. Without exact numbers it'd be hard to say for sure but the AR-1's are expected to crank out around 500,000 lbf of thrust each; so it'd be a really good idea for ULA to consider it since the Heavy is being retired.

 

Hmm ... :D They could use both and have a win-win. And get Rogers off their six.

5 hours ago, DocM said:

... Now, if only a dump truck would run over Shelby.....

Personally, I always imagined him getting caught in one of the SSME Test Firings ... ;) "Oh, crap, we didn't blow the warning sirens? Awww, silly us." :laugh:

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Earlier today ULA sounded like they're killing Athena and going with Atlas V and Vulcan, but these bozos are still talking Delta IV Heavy. Can't build Delta IV Heavy and Vulcan as it's line will need to be converted for Vulcan.

 

Bah!!

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Gah, Hydrogen-fueled anything is sooooooo 1960's.

 

The only benefit -- only benefit -- is the "pollution" content of the exhaust is Dihydrogen Monoxide .... :rofl:

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Well, H2 has a high Isp but operational difficulties like embrittlement and high expense hardware can be solved by methane + larger tanks.

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Off current topic//

 

I have not been following BO's progress of late, so am having a problem putting things together here...

 

Jeff is always stating...."step by step", but I think I missed a few items...

 

Images of 3 engines....test articles?

 

Contracts for launches.....where are these being built...at the factory that is still being built at the Cape?

 

Seems a bit out of context with "step after step"....this is now not a small step...unless I have been napping, and missed everything....:s 

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Yup, you missed a lot.

 

The first 3 BE-4 engines have or are soon come off the line and will enter tests in about a month. After that, expect another build or two for sea level qualification. Uncertain if there'll be a BE-4Vac but it's very possible for New Glenn which flies about 2021-22ish.  Selling launch slots.

 

Their 750,000 sq-ft KSC factory is well along just south of the Visitors Center, with a test center and new pad build-out at the old LC-36, and something at LC-11.

 

As of December

 

161206-factory-now-blue-origin.jpg

 

Concept

 

161206-factory-future-blue-origin.jpg

Edited by DocM
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Thanx for the updates....Doc and Beittil

 

This looks great....this could bump up real estate values, big time..../s

 

Will be top notch...nice to see the investment.

 

:D

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Yup, nice to see the range getting commercial users to keep the lights on. 

 

Not BO, but StratoLaunch should start testing their big plane this year, with ops out of KSC using the shuttle landing facility.

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  • 2 weeks later...

:yes: May she stand for all of time. A great vehicle that had way more grunt than first appearances would indicate.

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Jeff Bezos does a deep dive into bearings in Blue Origin’s BE-4 rocket engine update

 

170320-blue-origin-powerpack-630x357.jpg

The BE-4 rocket engine’s powerpack is installed on a stand at Blue Origin’s West Texas proving ground for startup transient testing. (Blue Origin Photo)

 

Quote

What’s the difference between ball bearings and hydrostatic bearings? You should have more of an inkling after checking out Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ latest update on the development of Blue Origin’s BE-4 rocket engine.

 

The engine is undergoing testing for use not only on the New Glenn rocket that Bezos’ space venture is planning, but also on United Launch Alliance’s next-generation Vulcan rocket.

 

The BE-4 is designed to provide 550,000 pounds of thrust, propelled by liquid oxygen and liquefied natural gas. Bezos says that kind of thrust should be enough to send a payload on the first leg of a trip to the moon when seven of them are firing together.

 

But that kind of performance can involve a lot of wear and tear, particularly if you’re using traditional ball and roller bearings. To maximize the engine’s reusability, Blue Origin’s team is taking a different approach. To keep the BE-4 running smoothly, Bezos says the turbine at the heart of the engine’s turbopump will use a thin film of the fluid propellants as its bearings.

 

Reusability is a key selling point for the BE-4, and ULA will be watching the engine’s performance closely as Blue Origin puts it through full-scale tests over the next several weeks.

 

If the BE-4 stumbles, ULA might have to turn to a Plan B, and Blue Origin’s plans for the New Glenn satellite launch business would suffer a heavy blow. But if everything works, that’ll be a big boost for Bezos’ space company, which is also working on a suborbital spaceship powered by the smaller, hydrogen-fueled BE-3 engine.

 

Quote

Here’s the full text of today’s email update from Bezos:

 

“Although the BE-4 turbopump is smaller than your refrigerator, it generates 70,000 horsepower from a turbine running at nearly 19,000 revolutions per minute that pumps cryogenic propellants to pressures just under 5,000 pounds per square inch. To react the forces generated by the rotating turbine and impellers inside the pump, production rocket turbopumps to date have used traditional ball and roller bearings. For BE-4, we’re doing something different – we’re using hydrostatic bearings.

 

“A hydrostatic bearing relies on a fluid film supplied by a high-pressure source to provide support for the shaft and cause it to float without contacting the static structure except at startup and shutdown. The BE-4 main turbopump uses hydrostatic journal bearings for radial support and hydrostatic axial bearings to carry axial thrust. The system is bootstrapped. The high pressure fluid films for the bearings are supplied by the propellants themselves – liquefied natural gas and liquid oxygen – tapped off from the pump discharge flows.

 

“Material selection is a critical consideration for this approach, as there is physical contact between the bearing surfaces during the start transient before the fluid film is fully established and during the shutdown transient as the fluid film dissipates. With lab-scale tests and full-scale bearing rig tests using actual pump hardware, we evaluated over 20 material combinations in over a hundred tests, leading to our baseline material and coating choices.

 

“Extensive rotordynamic and computational fluid dynamics analyses have shown the feasibility of this design, and recent powerpack tests confirmed that this approach works during the startup and shutdown transients – the most critical phases. The shaft orbit plot below shows that the turbopump lifts off smoothly and centers during a typical start transient, demonstrating a smooth ride on a film of propellant.

 

“Why do we go to all this trouble instead of just using traditional bearings? Engine life. We’re relentlessly focused on reusability, and properly designed hydrostatic bearings offer the potential for longer engine life without refurbishment. This is one of the many engineering decisions we’ve made that we hope will lead to reusability – not just in principle – but to practical, operational reusability. If ‘reusability’ requires significant refurbishment, inspection, and re-validation between flights, then it simply won’t lead to the far lower launch costs we need to achieve our vision of millions of people living and working in space.

 

“We’ll keep you up to date as our testing progresses in the coming weeks.

“Gradatim Ferociter!”

http://www.geekwire.com/2017/jeff-bezos-bearings-blue-origin-be4/

 

 

bezos-be4-2-879x485.jpg

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos poses with part of a BE-4 engine nozzle during a media tour of the company's headquarters in Kent, Washington, on March 8. Credit: SpaceNews photo by Jeff Foust

 

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Interesting approach ... but if any reverse pressure gets into the system at that point it's gonna be really bad. They're a smart bunch so I'm sure they've covered that contingency.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mess of goodies today...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C8FN2kcX0AAN_AN.jpg

image link

 

 

Jeff Bezos shares ‘sneak peek’ of Blue Origin crew capsule

 

Quote

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos on Wednesday released a set of images depicting the capsule his company is developing to launch passengers on its New Shepard suborbital spacecraft.

 

“Our New Shepard flight test program is focused on demonstrating the performance and robustness of the system,” Bezos wrote in an email sent to followers Wednesday morning. “In parallel, we’ve been designing the capsule interior with an eye toward precision engineering, safety, and comfort.”

 

5b937173-ec9d-429c-a92a-dd1ec33c6e24.jpe

Blue Origin

 

more at the link...

http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-gives-sneak-peek-of-crew-capsule/?utm_content=buffere4dec&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

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From the latests news, the New Glenn is going to cost about 2.5 Billion to develop, which compared to Nasa is pretty cheap. It is going to live about halfway between Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy in terms of up mass. Has there been any talk about how much a launch will cost?

 

https://www.inverse.com/article/30003-jeff-bezos-cost-blue-origin-s-new-glenn-rocket-2-5-billion

 

 

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Blue has launch contracts with Eutelsat and OneWeb for 2020-2021, but haven't announced the prices. Those numbers may appear in those companies next quarterly or annual reports.

 

 

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And if the prices are right, it'll have a real shot at being competitive. It's riiight at that sweet spot where Delta IV's bread and butter is (but with more all-round capability); it doesn't impede on Falcon Heavy's upper range and it can perform more tasks than Falcon-9 but doesn't meet the criteria for replacing the Falcon-9 outright at the lower end either. I'd say that Blue has a great workhorse on paper that actually fills a role, thus giving it a reason to actually be. They'll have a lot of business, more than they can book flights for -- if they can keep the costs down. That'll be everything. :yes: 

 

And unlike ULA, who couldn't keep expenditures in check, Blue Origin WILL actually try to do it. Bezos isn't going to let things get out of control, regardless of how we feel about the guy personally.

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I still think "Vulcan" will eventually devolve to being a New Glenn S1 with a ULA S2.  Otherwise it's stuck with a bit less thrust than Falcon 9 v1.0 had, needing up to 6 very expensive solid boosters and using an archaic form of reusability.

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  • 1 month later...

Uh-Oh...sounds like something went pop.

 

"Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough." 
- Mark Zuckerberg

 

http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-suffers-be-4-testing-mishap/

 

Quote

Blue Origin suffers BE-4 testing mishap

 

WASHINGTON — Blue Origin said May 14 it suffered a setback in the development of its BE-4 engine with the loss of a key hardware component of the engine in a recent test.

In a pair of tweets late May 14, the company said it lost “a set of powerpack test hardware” for the BE-4 on a test stand at the company’s West Texas test site in a May 13 incident. “Not unusual during development,” the company said, offering no other details about what caused the accident, or any damage to the test stand or other equipment.

The powerpack is a key component of a rocket engine that includes the turbomachinery that pumps propellant — in this case, liquid oxygen and methane — through the engine. The BE-4 powerpack generates about 75,000 horsepower, getting its power from a small engine called a preburner.

Blue Origin has been testing BE-4 powerpack systems since 2014, according to past company statements. The company has been gearing up for tests of the full BE-4 engine, once planned to begin in 2016 but which company officials had more recently been saying would begin in the coming weeks. The company announced in March that it had shipped the first BE-4 engine from its headquarters near Seattle to its Texas test site.
>

 

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Funny that this came out basically the same day that the Tom Mueller interview became more widespread in which he admits to SpaceX blowing up quite a bit of hardware during Merlin 1D development.

 

Part of the new space game kids, fail fast, fail often, score progress!

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