Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos’s private space company Blue Origin unveiled plans Monday for the largest rocket in existence.
Blue Origin’s two-stage New Glenn rocket will be 270 feet tall and 23 feet in diameter and capable of generating 3.85 million pounds of thrust. This is much larger than NASA’s planned 212-foot-tall Space Launch System rocket, which will only by capable of generating 3.6 million pounds of thrust. New Glenn’s engines will burn liquefied natural gas and oxygen. Blue Origin’s very first orbital rocket will have slightly more than half the thrust of the Saturn V rockets that carried humans to the moon.
Blue Origin has been competing with companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop the first fully reusable rocket. Bezos’s company successfully landed the first reusable rocket after officially going to space in November, and has repeated the feat four times. New Glenn rockets will be larger than SpaceX’s 230-foot-tall Falcon Heavy rocket.
“Blue Origin has demonstrated time and again they’re focused on real deliverables and won’t green-light a rocket until they’re sure it will work,” an engineer familiar with the matter, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Bezos and Musk have different takes on business. Musk comes from the software world of ‘move fast and break things,’ Bezos, though the pioneer of Amazon, has a much more measured approach to business, taking it a step at a time.”
Bezos’s announcement comes about a week after a rocket made by Musk’s company exploded on the launch pad during routine testing.
Blue Origin is already opening up “early access” to ticket information for potential space tourists. The company performs sub-orbital research for NASA.
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