New New Glenn: The Road to Space


Blue Origin released a new video of New Glenn with some updated graphics. Biggest changes I saw were the landing legs, updated ship, and two upper stage engines instead of one. What are your thoughts? Will there be an announcement following this? Or just another tease?


When the first New Glenn is rolled out of the factory will I believe there is chance that SpaceX has a challenger.


Yes, a challenger for SpaceX is long overdue. If the BFS/Starship works as advertised it is going to totally dominate the launch industry for years to come as apart from Blue Origin no one - no one at all - is working on the same lines. Why are there no other space startups,or any of the world’s space agencies working on a reusable vehicle?


Just this week I read that ISRO (India) is planning reusability of both their First and Second stages. One of several articles available here: India's space agency is aiming to create world's first rocket with two reusable stages


If they succeed in this then that would be a world first. Go India!
I like what ISRO achieve - their budget is small but they seem to make very good use of it.
Getting back to New Glenn - from the video there did not seem to be any indication that the second stage is reusable. Is it? I know there were plans for a fully reusable system but I’m not seeing it in this video.


Wikipedia only refers to first stage re-use so I guess this is their Falcon Heavy. Jumping from Falcon 1 to Heavy missing 9 altogether.


That’s surprising. I thought that New Glenn was supposed to be completely reusable (not just the first stage).

If that’s the case then BFS/Starship is going to completely dominate the launch industry.


Only for super Heavy lift … Starship would be over the top for cube sat! Also Blue Origin have made noises to suggest that they are not going to stop at New Glenn but build a bigger rocket after … Which i guess would out lift Starship … and makes me wonder what SpaceX or other companies may build in response (SLS :P)


I wouldn’t be so sure about cube sats. After all, I understand that Starship is aiming to get the price down to $5 million per launch once the system is operational, though that will take a while. That said, $5 million is about what Rocket Lab are charging for a much smaller payload. I imagine that their market may very well evaporate through competition with SpaceX in the next few years. 100 tonnes adds up to an awful lot of cube sats

As for Blue Origin - I see that their Wikipedia entry doesn’t include mention of New Armstrong specifically. I really hope that they do enter the market and start launch services, but they have been around for a while now and have yet to have any commercial operations at all.

We live in interesting times to be sure.


Let’s assume a 1.5 kg weight (above average) for the cube sats, then lets double it for structure cost. So, 3 kg per sat, 100,000 kg / 3 kg = 33333 sats. Let’s round down a lot to reduce complexity and leave room for fuel for orbital parameter management, and we’ll just say 10,000 cubesats.

Using your $5 mil price point, that’s 5,000,000 / 10,000 = $500 each. The charges for using the Deep Space Network would be orders of magnitude more. Basically, compared to R&D, tracking, and payload management, launch would be free.


Providing you can find 10,000 cubesats that are looking for similar oribits. But imagine how much Science could get done with a launch like that… Or how many Space Junk Capture devices could be deployed. Lets say 1 piece of junk per cubesat thats 10,000 less bits of junk per launch … I know that it would still take many launches to clearup after ourselves but it would start making dents into the problem quickly… Also in the case to Star-ship 100% re-usability means not adding space junk to the problem … Bring the deploy-er back and re-use that too. New Glenn not so good but done so the Second Stage de-orbits it-self it should still be possible to contribute to the effort (Of course if Blue Origin do continue and build a bigger fully re-usable rocket then all good :slight_smile:) … That of course requires all the legal issues sorting out which means first we need to know what the legal issues are … Gotta love the lawyers we need to employ Lawyers to find out if we need lawyers.