SpaceX competitor: New rocket is noticed at Cape Canaveral

Photographers located at Cape Canaveral captured a large fuel tank with the symbols of the Blue Origin company. Presumably, it is part of the New Glenn rocket.

Fuel tank of the New Glenn rocket. Source: Max Evans

The development of the New Glenn rocket began back in 2012. It has a two-stage design. Its height is 98 meters, and 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 will be equipped with seven BE-4 engines running on a mixture of methane and oxygen. 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 fuel mixture, in the form of hydrogen and oxygen. Earlier, Blue Origin stated that, in the future, they intended to create a fully reusable version of the second stage of New Glenn.

But first, the company needs to put into operation at least a basic version of New Glenn. Initially, its debut flight was supposed to take place in 2020. But since then, the launch date has been repeatedly postponed. Now the first flight of New Glenn is scheduled for 2024. As part of its debut mission, the rocket is supposed to send a pair of EscaPADE probes to Mars.

Judging by the latest activity at Cape Canaveral, Blue Origin is doing its best to make sure that 2024 really becomes the debut year for New Glenn. This is indicated by the fuel tank for the first stage delivered to Cape Canaveral. In addition, a massive structure recently arrived at the port of the cosmodrome, which was unloaded onto the shore with the help of a new heavy crane at the port owned by Blue Origin. This gives hope that after a while we will see the assembled first stage of the rocket, after which the company’s specialists will begin testing it.

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