Blue Origin Aerospace (updates)


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firey
24 minutes ago, DocM said:

Big noise, 

 

 

Seems a bit overkill for a hotdog roaster no?

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Unobscured Vision

Good stuff with their testing, but I will never ever call Methane LNG. EVER. I refuse to do it out of principle and because my education won't allow me to.

 

"Natural Gas."

 

"Which 'natural gas' are you referring to? There are SO many. ALL things could be a gas, and in one form or another all of them are 'natural'. Be specific?" will be the FIRST response I give someone who comes at me with that.

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Beittil

Man, they need to crank that sucker up to 100% alright!

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  • 3 weeks later...
DocM

 

 

They clearly hit a wall with the BE-4 Vac for the second stage and are switchibg to BE-3U. Now New Glenn is no earlier than Q4-2020, not 2019. A slip into 2021 is likely, and one has to wonder if this will impact Vulcan-Centaur V.

 

Edit: with an LH2 upper stage, New Glenn will exceed Vulcan-Centaur V.  All blur needs to do now is make a long-cruise version of NG's upper stage and Vulcan-ACES takes a dagger to the neck as well.

 

http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-switches-engines-for-new-glenn-second-stage/

 

Quote

Blue Origin switches engines for New Glenn second stage

 

Although the company’s website still shows New Glenn with a second stage powered by a reignitable version of the BE-4 it is developing to power the main stage of both New Glenn and United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, that configuration is now out of date.

A Blue Origin executive told SpaceNews the company is shelving development of a vacuum-optimized version of BE-4 and will instead use vacuum-optimized versions of flight-proven BE-3 engines for New Glenn’s second stage and optional third stage.

“We’ve already flown BE-3s, and we were already in the development program for BE-3U as the third stage for New Glenn,” said Clay Mowry, Blue Origin’s vice president of sales, marketing and customer experience. “It made a lot of sense for us to switch to an architecture where we get there faster for first flight.”

The BE-3U is the upper stage variant of the liquid hydrogen-fueled BE-3 engine that has powered Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard spacecraft on seven suborbital test flights since its 2015 debut.

Mowry said switching to the BE-3U for New Glenn’s second stage will allow Blue Origin to conduct the rocket’s first launch in the fourth quarter of 2020. He declined to say how much time the engine change saves compared to the original configuration.
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Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision

Wow. This one is catching me by surprise.

 

That's gonna keep additional production lines open at Blue, sure, but good grief this was not what they'd planned on. Are the technical problems really that insurmountable with the BE-4VAC that they couldn't be solved? I'm calling BS here -- SpaceX got their [snip] together with relighting CH4/LOX in a near-vacuum (because space isn't a complete vacuum), and they didn't have any problems to speak of.

 

C'mon, Blue. You people are smarter and way more talented than having to revert to LH2 burners. That's 1960's technology.

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DocM

OTOH:

 

with an LH2 upper stage, New Glenn will exceed Vulcan-Centaur V.  All Blue needs to do now is make a long-cruise version of NG's BE-3U upper stage and Vulcan-ACES takes a dagger to the neck as well.

 

Tory Bruno can't be very happy.

 

And Ariane 6 isn't any better off.

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Unobscured Vision

Depends, too, on the roles that New Glenn was intended to fill versus what roles it can fill with the updated setup.

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  • 2 weeks later...
DocM

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
DocM

NOTAM for a low altitude test

 

BO_notam_april_22_18.thumb.jpg.4f758af7f4334e947127b66b99bc3807.jpg

 

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DocM

 

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DocM

 

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DocM

They're talking about New Glenn passenger flights too :woot:

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DocM

Woo-HOO!!

 

347,000 ft, 2200 mph

 

 

Edited by DocM
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Beittil

Or... 105.76km altitude and 3540.56 km/h max speed. 

 

Why won't these guys just at least display this sort of stuff in both styles in broadcasts. Ugh. 

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DocM

Playback

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
DocM

BE-4 has been stuck at 65-70% and 114s for some time,

 

 

and later in the same thread this was a tad uncomfortable,

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

Yeah. Wonder wth is going on with the BE-4's development to keep them at that milestone.

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Beittil

I guess it is also a safe bet to state that this is the reason by ULA keeps saying 'soon' when asked about a decision on engine selection for the Vulcan. They will not make a call until they have seen BE-4 do a 100% power or more burn at full duration (or longer). Until then... no bueno!

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DocM

It's interesting that Raptor's chamber pressure path was to start out at 80%;  development 200 bar vs operational 250 bar, then later scale Merlin-like to 300 bar.

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Unobscured Vision

My educational-ish guess (because that's not my field of Engineering) is there's some telemetry they're seeing that's at redline that they have to work through still. Until then they'll be stuck at that level of output. Likely the problem part they had trouble with before.

 

If they are still dealing with that, and haven't made any progress on it in the year and a half since? Consider the BE-4 EOL'd in that scenario. That'd be a showstopper. There are several showstopper scenarios that'll kill an engine programme dead during R&D, and a component failure that limits power which cannot be worked around is the main killer of good engine ideas.

 

Kinda like the EM Drive, I'm just seeing that it has been killed off.

 

Oooh, this'd destroy Blue Origin if something like that were to happen ...

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DocM

Hopefully we'll see them hit at least 75%-80% soon.

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Unobscured Vision

I hope so too. Competition is good for everyone. It gets me thinking, though, that Aerojet's tweet might be a thinly-veiled "hey fellas, you aren't gonna get that issue sorted" kind of thing. Maybe poking them with a stick somewhat.

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DocM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision

Awesome. Possible takeaways can include: 

 

a.) In it for the long haul,

b.) sees what is in the best interests of all the players involved, but isn't doing the "groupthink" either (is for the Lunar Village but not necessarily the Cislunar Station),

c.) is also thinking "don't change what is clearly working (ala SpaceX and reuse)" but also putting their own spin on "what works" to differentiate themselves and advance the overall "what works" because "competition is what drives innovation" (and I also believe this)

d.) is taking the smart approach IMO overall and won't regret doing so.

 

Yep. They'll be fine. Out of everyone that OldSpace should be listening to, it's Mr. Bezos that has the best chance of actually making them listen. Maybe they will once Blue's hardware is flying circles around their yet-to-be-launched platforms (SLS/Orion, I'm looking at you) ...

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Skiver

Stumbled upon this Abort Test video on YouTube, I think it's pretty impressive to see when the first stage is also in flight.

 

 

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