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Thread: Blue Origin's launch vehicles

  1. #91
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    Jeff Bezos and brother Mark will ride the first crewed New Shepard sub-orbital flight.

    https://apnews.com/article/technolog...889ca089572571

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Outdoing his fellow billionaires in daredevilry, Jeff Bezos will blast into space next month when his Blue Origin company makes its first flight with a crew.

    The 57-year-old Amazon founder and richest person in the world by Forbes’ estimate will become the first person in the world to ride his own rocket to space.

    Bezos announced his intentions Monday and said he will share the adventure with his younger brother and best friend, Mark, an investor and volunteer firefighter. He said that will make it more meaningful.

    Blue Origin’s debut flight with people aboard — after 15 successful test flights of its reusable New Shepard rockets — will take place on July 20, a date selected because it is the 52nd anniversary of the first moon landing by Apollo 11′s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
    >

  2. #92
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    He can afford it, but too bad Blue Origin doesn't have an orbital rocket yet.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    He can afford it, but too bad Blue Origin doesn't have an orbital rocket yet.
    Let them get the suborbital flights going first and that will come.
    I am because we are
    (African saying)

  4. #94
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    Blue Origin's launch vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Let them get the suborbital flights going first and that will come.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Rather my thoughts.

  6. #96
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    BE-4's development hell isn't just hitting Blue but every Blue customer it touches; Vulcan, Dream Chaser, a lunar lander, Blue's Human Lander System partners, etc.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Let them get the suborbital flights going first and that will come.
    That's a rather fatuous statement. The New Glenn has been under development since 2012 and the failure to deliver it and flight ready BE-4 engines is having real world consequences right now. Amazon is having to buy Atlas V launches for their satellite broadband system and the lack of flight ready BE-4s is causing serious issues for the Vulcan rocket and it development schedule.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    BE-4's development hell isn't just hitting Blue but every Blue customer it touches; Vulcan, Dream Chaser, a lunar lander, Blue's Human Lander System partners, etc.
    What's really annoying is that if Bezos does 'hop' on the New Shepard it will be portrayed as him stealing a march on Elon Musk.

  9. #99
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    Yes, what's the worth of your "first" when the competitor chose not to bother even though they could do it every day of the week.

    But apart from what others might think of it, I'm sure Bezos does it because it's his own dream too. Question is, is this the right moment for the company to focus on anything but a functional orbital rocket.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  10. #100
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    I don’t know about that, but they would be ahead of Virgin Galactic. There is an Ars Technica article saying they Branson might shorten the test period.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  11. #101
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    Virgin Galactic would be a relevant comparison.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  12. #102
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    Uh-Oh...Blue Origin BE-4 problems other than the pumps,

    GAO:

    A U.S. produced rocket engine [...] technical challenges related to the igniter and booster capabilities required and may not be qualified in time to support first launches beginning in 2021[...]
    https://spacenews.com/gaos-annual-re...ng-satellites/

  13. #103
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    Somebody paid $28 million for their New Shepard ticket:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57457378

    Yeesh, that’s getting into orbital flight price territory. If I had that much money, I would want to go orbital. I wouldn’t even think of paying that much for a hop. Even if I had managed to acquire a billion I wouldn’t pay that much for a hop, it’s the principle of the thing.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Somebody paid $28 million for their New Shepard ticket:
    An interesting article from the online Guardian Rocket Men: Bezos, Musk and Branson scramble for space supremacy. Below are a few extracts.

    It was a week in which two space-faring billionaires tussled again in their futuristic game of cosmic oneupmanship. And this time, for once, Elon Musk was not at the party.

    The declaration that Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and world’s richest man, was heading into space next month on the first crewed launch of his Blue Origin New Shepard rocket was followed quickly by an apparent leak from within Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic empire that the British tycoon might look to upstage him with a Fourth of July Independence Day spectacular of his own.

    Branson’s team was quick to downplay the possibility, insisting a date for his first spaceflight had yet to be determined....

    With differing longer-term ambitions and goals, the three billionaires have collectively upended the traditional government-funded and directed model for human spaceflight and are shaping a thriving new commercial space era, according to Matthew Weinzierl, a Harvard Business School professor and an expert in the economics of space.

    “SpaceX’s recent achievements, as well as upcoming efforts by Boeing, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic to put people in space sustainably and at scale, mark the opening of a new chapter of spaceflight led by private firms,” he said.

    “They have both the intention and capability to bring private citizens to space as passengers, tourists and eventually settlers, opening the door for businesses to start meeting the demand those people create over the next several decades.”

    Weinzierl expects there to be a gradual shift from money spent in space to benefit Earth, such as investments in telecommunications and internet satellites and infrastructure, to the so-called space-for-space economy, including mining asteroids or the moon for materials that will be necessary to support human habitat and fuel deeper-space missions to Mars or beyond.

    Bezos and Musk always had loftier goals in mind, even as they were taking their first tentative steps in the space industry, experts say. But their visions diverge beyond flying humans in low Earth orbit, or even suborbital flight, as Bezos’s brief July venture will be...

    ...Musk has created his own luck to position SpaceX as the leading pioneer in the new private space market
    Nothing really new here, but its interesting to see how the media narrative is evolving, and how the PR, publicity and attention is hotting up.

    I sense that the era of space adventure tourism is moving from on the horizon to within striking distance!

  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Somebody paid $28 million for their New Shepard ticket:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57457378

    Yeesh, that’s getting into orbital flight price territory. If I had that much money, I would want to go orbital. I wouldn’t even think of paying that much for a hop. Even if I had managed to acquire a billion I wouldn’t pay that much for a hop, it’s the principle of the thing.
    The $28 million goes to a charity so in some sense the flight is free (and probably tax deductible in the US).

  16. #106
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    So, several more months for hiring, training, early BE4 builds, testing those in Texas, until Blue finally gets their act together?

    Link...

    Blue Origin announces ‘hiring blitz’ at Alabama rocket engine plant

    Blue Origin has announced a hiring blitz this week seeking skilled machinists and welders to begin building the reusable rocket engines it erected a giant plant to produce in Alabama.

    The company wants to hire “more than 80 skilled machinists and welders in Huntsville, Alabama, who are passionate about the company’s mission to lower the cost of access to space,” a company news release said. “We aim to fill these roles within two months to support continued company growth.”
    >

  17. #107
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    That reminds me of a recent article on ULA’s issues with Blue Origin, all focusing on the BE-4 engine:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...n-unhappy-one/

    Privately, multiple sources say, the relationship between Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance is not good. "There is great concern about this engine development," one person in the industry said. "It's much more than Tory Bruno is showing publicly. There is great concern that Blue is not putting enough attention and priority on the engine."
    […]
    "He's protecting Blue Origin," one source said of Bruno's lack of public criticism of the BE-4 engine delay. "It does no good to throw Blue Origin under the bus."

    It mentions that part of the delay and why you hear mixed messages about how well the turbopumps are doing could be that they may be good enough for single use now, but Bezos wants them to be validated as reusable before moving out of prototypes. However, ULA doesn’t need that for now. Compare to SpaceX where they iterate the design over time. Worth reading for background on this. I hadn’t heard of the BE-4 issue until fairly recently. ULA and Blue Origin don’t talk much and just don’t get the notice SpaceX does.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  18. #108
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    I kinda hope Blue Origin does get their act together. SpaceX is great, but reliance on a single point source for heavy and/or human space access is not a good plan in the long run. They need some competition, and right now they don't have it.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  19. #109
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    Thing is; from this recent NASA Launch Services chart New Glenn's performance isn't all that great. Vulcan is better, but it takes 6 solid boosters and the huge Centaur 5 Long hydrogen stage.

    20210709_185319.jpg

  20. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Thing is; from this recent NASA Launch Services chart New Glenn's performance isn't all that great. Vulcan is better, but it takes 6 solid boosters and the huge Centaur 5 Long hydrogen stage.

    20210709_185319.jpg
    Without going into detail what do the column header C3 etc. stand for?

  21. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Without going into detail what do the column header C3 etc. stand for?
    Characteristic energy

    The excess energy to escape Earth's gravity. Negative C3s are on a parabolic trajectory or in orbit. C3=0 is escape velocity and no more. Positive C3s are on an escape trajectory with increasing energies. The chart shows the launchers mass capability to a given set of C3s.

  22. #112
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    I don’t have a specific link, but Blue Origin is saying their webcast for New Shepard will be on their site tomorrow:

    https://www.blueorigin.com/

    The launch is supposed to be at 8 AM central time, 6 AM Pacific, but they say they will start the webcast an hour and a half earlier.

    I have to admit, I like the story around Mary “Wally” Funk. I didn’t know much about the Mercury 13. I was too young to directly remember anything about Mercury (and Gemini for that matter) so everything I learned came from reading about the history of the programs. The Mercury 13 were never an official part of the program, and apparently they were in the news at the time, but were rarely mentioned in later years in articles or books about the history of the time.

    But Wally Funk apparently really wanted to go to space and she finally is getting the chance. I can empathize with that, I could understand and appreciate the look of joy on her face in the video with Bezos and I feel happy for her.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  23. #113
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    So, update, YouTube link is:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1H5jfmXrB2w

    Should be launching in a bit over a half hour from now.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  24. #114
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    I’ve heard “Karman line” mentioned several times and other references to the same subject. They really want to push that point, no doubt at Bezos’ instructions. There was a short hold so a small delay, but not too bad. The entire flight should take a bit over 10 minutes. I really notice different approaches: The launch tower is very utilitarian, not a futuristic look like you might expect from Musk. Oh, still another mention of the Karman line, did you know it’s internationally recognized?

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  25. #115
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    Looks like a perfect flight.

    The announcers were every bit as annoying as sports announcers.

  26. #116
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    And down, 10 minutes 19 seconds total flight time, with another mention of the Karman line. Too short. They mentioned they would start selling tickets, but one article I read said they were thinking of charging over a million dollars for regular tickets.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  27. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell View Post
    Looks like a perfect flight.

    The announcers were every bit as annoying as sports announcers.
    Fantastic to watch and very well done but yes those announcers!

  28. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell View Post
    The announcers were every bit as annoying as sports announcers.
    Oh, yes, definitely. It’s so different from reporters covering old time NASA launches. Sometimes they would get a bit emotional, but were pretty objective. Not so here.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  29. #119
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    Congratulations Blue Origin
    I am because we are
    (African saying)

  30. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    And down, 10 minutes 19 seconds total flight time, with another mention of the Karman line. Too short. They mentioned they would start selling tickets, but one article I read said they were thinking of charging over a million dollars for regular tickets.
    What is too short?

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