Elon Musk has competition.
This morning Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos unveiled the design for New Glenn – a new orbital rocket from Blue Origin, his space company, that will ferry people and commercial satellites into space. It will have two versions, with the taller one standing at 313 feet tall. It is 23 feet in diameter and will be equipped with seven BE-4 engines. The engines are used to propel the rocket into space using energy. The New Glenn’s engines will produce force equal to 3.85 million pounds at lift-off. It is a two-stage rocket and is reusable. Additional stages can be added to the rocket, if required. The New Shepard, a sub-orbital space rocket launched last year, used the BE-3 engine which was capable of producing force equal to 110156 pounds.
“Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step,” Bezos wrote in a statement announcing the rocket. “It won’t be the last of course. Up next on our drawing board: New Armstrong. But that’s a story for the future,” he added.
The announcement of Bezos’ rocket comes after news of explosion of a SpaceX rocket on its launchpad at Cape Canaveral in Florida. (See also: SpaceX Rocket Explodes During Test). Blue Origin plans to launch its rocket from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 36 in Florida. That news delivered a setback to prospects for the commercial space industry. According to a 2012 report by the Federal Aviation Administration, space tourism, which involves passengers traveling in reusable rockets in low orbits, could be a billion dollar industry by 2022. (See also: Bezos’ Blue Origin Announces Space Tours In 2018).
The industry has already attracted a number of companies, including Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which performed a test of SpaceShipTwo, a shuttle for space tourism, into orbit last week. Blue Origin has already successfully launched a reusable rocket last year. (See also: Jeff Bezos Trumps Elon Musk’s Space X).
In his statement, Bezos reiterated the importance of the company’s motto and mascot.
“Our mascot is the tortoise. We paint one on our vehicles after each successful flight. Our motto is ‘Gradatim Ferociter’ – step by step, ferociously. We believe ‘slow is smooth and smooth is fast,’” he wrote. “In the long run, deliberate and methodical wins the day, and you do things quickest by never skipping steps. This step-by-step approach is a powerful enabler of boldness and a critical ingredient in achieving the audacious.”