Blue origin’s mission:
Bob Smith, CEO of the Blue Origin Company, appears on stage at the AFA conference to share some updates on the different projects under development. Blue Origin is a new Space company founded by Jeff Bezos with the main objective to commercialize the exploitation of space resources. Jeff Bezos believes that the earth resources are too precious and won’t match the future needs for the development of the Human species. Blue Origin differentiates from its other competitors such as Space X and Virgin Galactic with its different approach “Step by Step, ferociously”.
Blue Origin programs updates:
The company has currently two rocket projects announced.
Blue Origin New Shepard
The New Shepard is the smaller lunch vehicle of the company. The purpose of this vehicle is to provide economical transport for Astronauts or payload to earth orbit. It is the only booster that flew 5 times according to Bob Smith. The last test was on the control of the trajectory of the booster and embedded capsule. The engineering team now has the certitude that in case of failure of the booster, the capsule will remain intact protecting the astonauts or the payload.
Blue Origin Capsule
The capsule itself has been designed for taking human to orbit. Blue Origin focused on the Human experience integrating the largest windows of the Space industry. The capsule is fully autonomous and reusable. Blue Origin targets to launch Astronauts in the first half of 2019. Astronauts have already been selected by the company and would be Blue Origin Astronauts.
Blue Origin New Glenn
The second launcher is the New Glenn which recently was awarded with a $500M development contract from the AirForce. The New Glenn is a much bigger vehicle with 7 BE-4 engines that will allow the company to launch much bigger payloads to orbit or realize longer Space transport.
The vehicle will only have one configuration and like the new Shepard, the objective is to fly as many times as possible. The company is currently testing the engine for the rocket. The vehicle will be manufactured in Florida, in the new facility recently opened. “With the size of the new Glenn, some parts are so huge that it will be impossible to transport and it will have to be manufactured close to the launch pad” said Bob Smith. All the engineering design department of Blue Origin will remain in Kent,WA where the company has currently 80% of its workforce. Bob Smith declared to be pretty happy about their facility in Kent, they have 1,500 persons and really appreciate how easy it is to find Aerospace engineers in WA state.
Blue Origin plans to open a new factory in Alabama to support the manufacture of the BE4 engine. This expansion follows the recent award of a contract with ULA to provide the future Vulcan vehicle with the BE4 engine.