Nov. 20 -- Blue Origin test fires
a powerful new hydrogen- and oxygen-fueled rocket engine BE-3 at the company's
West Texas facility. Blue Origin's Orbital Launch Vehicle will use the BE-3
engine to propel the company's Space Vehicle into orbit. During the test, the
engine demonstrated a full mission duty cycle by thrusting at 110,000 pounds
in a 145-second boost phase, shutting down to simulate coast through apogee.
The engine then restarted and throttled down to 25,000 pounds thrust to simulate
controlled vertical landing. The engine firing comes about a year after the
BE-3's thrust chamber was tested at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
2014, Sept. 18 -- United Launch
Alliance and Blue Origin Announce Partnership To Develop New American Rocket
"United Launch Alliance (ULA), the nation's premier space launch company, and
Blue Origin, LLC, a privately-funded aerospace company owned by Amazon.com founder
Jeff Bezos, announced that they have entered into an agreement to jointly fund
development of the new ORSC cycle rocket engine BE-4 by Blue Origin. This new
collaboration will allow ULA to maintain the heritage, success and reliability
of its rocket families - Atlas and Delta - while addressing the long-term need
for a new domestic engine.
"The BE-4 is a liquid oxygen, liquefied natural gas (LNG) rocket engine that
delivers 550,000-lbf of thrust at sea level. Two BE-4s will power the planned
new ULA launcher, providing 1,100,000-lbf thrust at liftoff. "
2015, April 07 -- Blue Origin recently completed acceptance testing of its
BE-3 rocket engine. The 110,000-lbf BE-3 will power Blue Origin’s New Shepard
suborbital system, and later, will be modified for upper stage applications.
The BE-3 can be continuously throttled between 110,000-lbf and 20,000-lbf thrust,
a key capability for vertical takeoff and vertical landing vehicles. The testing
profile included multiple mission duty cycles, deep throttling and off-nominal
2015, April 29
-- Blue Origin flew the first developmental test flight of New Shepard space
vehicle (PM-3). The 110,000-lbf thrust liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen BE-3 engine
worked flawlessly, powering New Shepard through Mach 3 to its planned test altitude
of 93.5 km. The landing of the booster failed due to a pressure drop in the
2015, August 16 -- Blue Origin announced plans to build a new rocket
manufacturing facility near the Kennedy Space Center and to launch the boosters
from the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Launch complex 36 will be refurbished to support the Blue Origin launch vehicle.
The BE-4 test stand will be built nearby, along with a processing facility to
prepare the boosters for flight.
A much larger building, where the rockets will actually be built, will be located
on Merritt Island, just south of the Kennedy Space Center, in an aerospace industrial
park on state property.
Jeff Bezos declined to provide performance details about the
how much weight it will be able to boost to low-Earth orbit, when unpiloted
test flights might begin or when crewed missions might fly. He promised more
details about the rocket next year.
The orbital rocket will consist of two stages, one powered by the BE-4 and the
other, presumably, by the BE-3. As currently envisioned, only the first stage
will be reusable. Both the orbital launcher and the New Shepard booster will
feature autonomous abort systems to quickly pull a crew or cargo capsule away
from a malfunctioning rocket.
Blue Origin and United launch Alliance last week announced an agreement to expand
production of the BE-4 to support ULA's Vulcan rocket.
2015, Nov. 23
-- Blue Origin flew the second developmental
test flight of New Shepard space vehicle (PM-3). The PM-3 with the capsule reached
its planned test altitude of 100.5 km and landed successful on the launch
pad. The BE-3 engine worked flawlessly and New Shepard has reached Mach 3.72.
2016, Jan. 22
-- Blue Origin flew the third developmental test
flight of New Shepard space vehicle (PM-3). The PM-3 with the capsule reached
an altitude of 101.7 km and landed successful on the launch pad.
2016, April 02
-- The company Blue Origin has successfully
landed a rocket for the third time, owner Jeff Bezos announced. “Flawless BE-3
restart and perfect booster landing,” Bezos wrote, describing the rocket’s descent
and engines re-engaging. “Touchdown confirmed.” The PM-3 with the capsule reached
its planned test altitude of 103.4 km.
2016, June 19
-- The company has successfully landed
the New Shepard for the fourth time. New Shepard reaching an apogee of
2016, Sept. 30
-- Blue Origin announced that will conduct an in-flight test of its escape system
for the New Shepard rocket. The test will take place on October 04.
In the test, the escape system will be triggered approximately 45 seconds after
launch at an altitude of 16,000 feet. If all goes as planned, the capsule will
separate and land using its parachutes.
The rocket that will be used for this test has flown four times already. The
company is not optimistic that it will survive this fifth flight since it was
not designed to withstand the aerodynamic forces.
2016, Oct. 05
Blue Origin has the announced test of the escape
system successfully finished. The capsule was blasted off on schedule. Both
objects (booster and capsule) were landed undamaged.
2017, Dec. 12
Blue Origin have made a test flight with its new crew capsule 2.0.
2018, April 29
-- Blue Origin have made a second test flight with its new crew capsule 2.0.
2018, July 18
-- Blue Origin have made a third test flight with its new crew capsule 2.0.
The capsule escape motor with 310 kN thrust worked 140 sec.
2019, Jan. 23
-- Blue Origin have made a fourth test flight with its new crew capsule 2.0
2019, May 02
-- Blue Origin have made a fifth test flight with its new crew capsule 2.0.