New Glenn rocket was first installed on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral

For the first time, Blue Origin has installed a New Glenn rocket simulator in an upright position on the launch pad. This is an important step towards its commissioning.

New Glenn rocket simulator at the Cape Canaveral launch site. Source: Max Evans

The development of the New Glenn rocket was started by Blue Origin back in 2012. It has a two-stage design. Its height is 98 meters, its diameter is 7 meters. The rocket will be able to carry up to 45 tons of cargo into low orbit and up to 13.6 tons of cargo into geostationary orbit.

The first stage of the New Glenn is equipped with seven BE-4 engines powered by a methane-oxygen mixture. It is reusable and will land vertically after separation. Thus, it will be able to compete with SpaceX rockets. The second stage will use a different propellant mixture, in the form of hydrogen and oxygen. Earlier, Blue Origin stated that they would create a fully reusable version of the second stage of New Glenn in the future.

During its development, the New Glenn project faced a number of difficulties, due to which the launch of the rocket was repeatedly postponed. But at the end of last year, the first and then the second stage of the rocket still reached Cape Canaveral. Then the engineers connected them, which made it possible to work out this procedure for the first time.

New Glenn rocket simulator at the Cape Canaveral launch site. Source: Max Evans

Another part of the preparation for the launch of New Glenn is to work out the process of installing the rocket on the launch pad. On February 13, Blue Origin specialists installed the New Glenn simulator for the first time on the LC-36 launch complex.

At the moment, the first flight of the new rocket is scheduled for August 2024. As part of its debut mission, it will have to send a pair of EscaPADE probes to Mars.

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