Jeff Bezos shows off engine for Blue Origin's new very big rocket

Blue Origin

If all goes to plan, Blue Origin will launch a communications satellite from European partner Eutelsat using its New Glenn rocket, a two- or three-stage machine that has yet to be constructed or tested.

Euteslat CEO Rodolphe Belner said the company selected Blue Origin for the contact due to their "strategy" and "Mindset to compete in the launch service industry".

On Monday, March 6, the Amazon CEO whose spaceflight company Blue Origin competes with Elon Musk's SpaceX, tweeted a picture of the BE-4 rocket engine, which has been under development over the past four years.

Blue Origin unveiled new details of the private space company's newest spacecraft: a heavy lift rocket that will be manufactured and launched from Florida's Space Coast.

Blue Origin has a lot up its sleeve.

"SpaceX has a great record of doing exactly what they say they're going to do but always several years later than they said they were going to do it", astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell

The BE-4 won't just power Blue Origin rockets. "We'll reach a new equilibrium in this industry".

Meanwhile, Blue Origin, SpaceX, and others could disrupt a decades-old industry and lower the cost of access to space for everyone. According to Bloomberg, the company has bought one launch on New Glenn, scheduled for 2021.

Meant to simulate the path of an actual mission, the animation showed the New Glenn, powered by seven of the company's BE-4 engines, launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida and separate, with the first stage heading back to Earth while the second stage carries a satellite into orbit. BE-4 component testing has already been underway for more than two years and full engine testing will begin soon.

Blue Origin has finished its big rocket.

Eutelsat has taken chances on new rockets before, placing its satellites on the inaugural launches of the Atlas 3, Atlas 5, Delta 4 and Ariane 5 ECA boosters in the early 2000s.

Dr. McDowell, who teaches at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, made clear that he had "full confidence" that SpaceX would succeed in sending space tourists around the moon, but suggested 2020 might be a more likely deadline. It can also carry an additional 13 tons to geostationary orbit.

Like New Shepard, the New Glenn booster is created to fly itself back to Earth so it can be recovered and reflown, slashing launch costs. Blue Origin has a long-term vision of greatly increasing the number of people that fly into space so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system.

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