Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin delays New Glenn’s start until the end of 2022

Blue Origin is delaying the start of its giant, centralized rocket New Glen until the end of 2022, the company announced on Thursday, citing a major contract from the Pentagon that said it would lose out on rival companies SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance Turned out as the reason.

The New Glenn is a large-scale, partially reusable heavy-lift rocket designed to launch anything from national security payloads and commercial satellites. Its first flight was slated for some time earlier in 2021.

“Current target for first flight of New Glenn is Q4 2022,” the company said In a statement on Thursday. “The Blue Origin team is in touch with all of our customers to ensure that this baseline meets their launch needs.”

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and in present The world’s wealthiest, has invested billions in the New Glenn program, which includes the construction of rocket production facilities in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and an extensive renovation at Space Coast’s launch complex 36, which Blue Origin leased in 2015 Gave on

The company bid for a Hefty Launch contract under the Air Force’s next-generation National Security Launch Program, which guaranteed the two winning rocket companies multibillion-dollar contracts and was a part of all Pentagon launches between 2022 and 2027. The Air Force announced its decision the following year – the Blue Origin lost to SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance (a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin).

Jarrett Jones, Blue Origin’s senior vice president for New Glenn, said the loss was “a big hit for us.” Told SpaceNews, Claiming that it cost up to $ 3 billion. Jones said New Glenn’s design was partially tailored to send Pentagon satellites into space, and Blue Origin officials “had to consider economics”

“We hope to launch [national security] Payloads are committed to serving the future, and the US National Defense Mission, ”a Blue Origin statement said.

Blue Origin received a $ 255 million $ 255 million award from the Air Force as part of a precursor program to assist in the development of New Glenn. As planned, the company was deducted from the full amount of the prize after losing it at a later event.

But unhappy with Amazon, following the announcement of his decision to step down as CEO, Bezos is now expected to step up his involvement in managing Blue Origin, which he founded in 2000 as a passion project. He said that in 2017 he was liquidating $ 1 billion per year. In stock Amazon to help Blue Origin.

Although it has yet to reach orbit and has fallen well behind SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, in recent years Blue Origin has made its competitive strides in the space industry. It is currently leading a team of established defense companies in a bid to provide NASA’s next ride on the moon with its human lunar lander Blue Moon. SpaceX is also dying for that award with its starship rocket system.

Another important business line for the company is its liquid BE-4 rocket engine that powers New Glenn. This engine will also power the United Launch Alliance’s rocket, the Vulcan. – The one who beats New Glenn for a lucrative Pentagon contract. Vulcan is a late target in early 2021. And after some developmental hiccups last year, Blue Origin hopes to ship the BE-4 engine ready for flight to ULA in mid-2021 to keep Vulcan on time.

An aerial view of Blue Origin’s giant rocket factory in Florida, just outside the gates of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Picture: Blue Origin

Meanwhile, Blue Origin is taking its time with New Glenn (Latin for its motto, Graditim Ferrociter, “step by step, brutally”). A trial version of the first phase of New Glenn briefly Emerged from the company’s Florida facilities Earlier this month, Rocket enthusiasts were given one of the first major peaks in some new Glenn hardware.

And visited in the company’s new tank cleaning and testing facility, Video tweeted this On Thursday, it became the only building large enough to share the Cape Canaveral Horizon with NASA’s Behemoth Vehicle Assembly Building, a few miles in length.

Blue Origin said it has expanded to “more than 600 jobs” on Florida’s Space Coast and represents an investment of $ 2.5 billion, including $ 1 billion to restart Launch Complex 36, “Which is about to be completed.”

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