Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ private space company Blue Origin unveiled animation of its new rocket design Tuesday.
Blue Origin’s two-stage New Glenn rocket is 270 feet tall, 23 feet in diameter and capable of generating 3.85 million pounds of thrust to reach orbit. This is much larger than NASA’s 212-foot-tall Space Launch System rocket, which will only generate 3.6 million pounds of thrust.
New Glenn’s engines will burn liquefied natural gas and oxygen, and will have more than 150 percent of the thrust of the Saturn V rockets that carried humans to the moon in the 1960s and ’70s. New Glenn is expected to make its initial test launch prior to 2020.
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 is already opening up “early access” to ticket information for potential space tourists and is intended partially for space tourism flights. The company performs sub-orbital research for NASA.
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