So, Blue Origin clarifies that when launching its launch vehicle, the engines of the first stage will turn off at 199 seconds of flight, when they reach an altitude of 250 kilometers. The separation of the first stage from the second should occur at 202 seconds. After that, the engines of the first stage should be turned on, which will ensure its soft vertical landing on the platform of the container ship Stena Freighter located in the ocean. The company plans to refit this vessel for the described needs.
At the same time, for several years now, the company has been engaged in various tests and tests, and it promises to launch the first full-fledged launch in 2021. Although it was previously reported that this will happen in 2020. After that, they want to carry out 12 launches every year.
The developers report that the New Glenn is being designed (since 2012) as a two- or three-stage heavy launch vehicle. It will be able to launch cargo weighing up to 45 tons into low Earth orbit, and 13 tons into geostationary orbit. The first stage of the launch vehicle can be launched up to 25 times, and the BE-4 methane engine manufactured by Blue Origin installed on it can be launched up to 100 times.
It should be noted that the same engine will receive the first stage of the Vulcan launch vehicle, which will replace the Atlas 5 launch vehicle. Currently, in the first stage of the Atlas 5 launch vehicle, Russian RD-180 engines are used.
He founded Blue Origin in 2000, an American billionaire and one of the richest people on the planet, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon. He invested $ 2,5 billion in the creation of the New Glenn launch vehicle. By the way, Blue Origin is also testing the reusable New Shepard suborbital tourist system. At the same time, the main task is to create infrastructure for deep space exploration. And how the competition between Blue Origin and SpaceX will end, we will find out in the foreseeable future.