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Blue Origin thread.


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1 minute ago, RCgothic said:

Agreed they need a reusable upper stage, but maybe get New Glenn flying first, eh?

Honestly, NG is quite a fair bit useless by the time if flies. Less payload than a FH expending its core booster, made to make successful booster landings to day one even if it is impossible, and now according to Ars' sources it won't be profitable until they can make second stage reuse to work, which means more than 5 years from now (likely more). If it isn't much cheaper than the FH expending the core it can't compare with it, and all of this is ignoring the fact that Starship could have flown people to the Moon by then and completed the Starlink constellation

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NG has a lot of possible use. Cost might be an issue vs SpaceX's aggressive pricing—particularly since their current pricing is low even with virtually no competitors.

NG is supposed to be crew rated out of the gate, and it is 7m in diameter. Both are major pluses vs FH IMO. I think it is a compelling vehicle if they every fly the bloody thing.

I also think that they could leverage their existing relationship with LockMart to position NG as an alternate LV for Orion. Launch Orion to LEO, use distributed launch for an EOR mission architecture for cislunar.

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14 minutes ago, GuessingEveryDay said:

They'll do that when Musk lands on Mars.

Musk will not be the first human to step on Mars. Their proposed "Moon rocket" is thought to be called  "New Armstrong," not "New von Braun" or "New Kennedy," or "New Webb," New Paine," etc.

By their naming convention a Mars rocket would be named after the first American doing the thing.

Edited by tater
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Imagine a scaled up X-37B. It is ~7m in diameter, and completely encloses the NG stage 2.


Obviously the specific flight surface arrangement might have to change to allow launch with no fairing (Dyna Soar style). The capsules in the above diagram are the old BO biconic they used to show, BTW. The horizontal line left of the X-37B is where the NG S2 tank ends (or the fairing bottom begins, anyway). The cargo bay of the reusable upper stage would have to start above that line vs where it is on the X-37B. The vehilce would certainly reduce payload to LEO—but they have a ton of margin.

The Shuttle cargo bay was 4.57m wide, BTW, that scaled up X-37B is huge.


(ref for ballparking figures)

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Blue Origin could set itself up as the more conservative alternative to the Starship launch system, by sacrificing the fairing.

Starship is designed to be fully reusable in every extent, but that results in some issues related to payload integration, because it is simply too big.

Blue Origin could redesign its BE-3U upper stage to be partially reusable. It would blow the expendable fairing, complete orbital insertion, release the payload, perform the deorbit burn, drop the PAF, and re-enter like the X-37B.  Glide back down to any runway.  An open expander cycle should give at least 435s of Isp, which is a huge flex.


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