B.O. New Shepard


Blue Origin LLC

Blue Origin is owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos and is one of the more companies for suborbital space tourism.

First  Blue Origin's "Goddard" reusable launch vehicle was a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), suborbital rocket.
A sub-scale demonstration vehicle made its first flight on November 13, 2006.  It followed two more flights.
The full-scale vehicle was expected to be operational for revenue service in 2010. The overall vehicle was roughly conical. Propulsion would be by Hydrogen-Peroxide and Kerosene (RP-1). The spacecraft was said to have a propellant load of 48,534 kg of HP oxidizer and 5,897 kg of RP-1 fuel and a thrust of 1,020 kN. The mission profile was said to include 110 seconds of powered flight with engine cutoff at 38 km altitude. This concept was abandoned in favor of NASAS's  CCDev-2.

Blue Origin now is planning to develop a reusable launch vehicle to carry a biconic seven-seat capsule to low Earth orbit, following an interim step when the company will offer suborbital tourist and scientific flights in a three-seat version.

In 2011, the new concept for a manned suborbital flight presented -- Blue Origin's "NewShepard".
The prototype (PM-2)
of the suborbital vehicle is test-flown up to now in two times.
The first flight was a short hop with successful soft landing. The second flight went out of control at a height of 13.7 km at a speed of Mach 1.2. The vehicle was destroyed. This prototype used the same propulsion as the "Goddard", but only three engines BE-2.

In its CCDev-2 proposal, Blue Origin said it will mature its seven-seat capsule through a system requirements review, test the pusher escape system it started on the ground and in flight, and begin testing the 100,000 lb-thrust LH2/LOX engine BE-3 it plans to power its Reusable Booster System (RBS).

Blue Origin stated in an October 2012 press interview that a single BE-3 LOX/LH2 engine (with 445 to 489 kN thrust) would replace the three BE-2 Peroxide/RP-1 engines (414 kN) on their next "NewShepard" sub-orbital space launch vehicle which they have been building since the last "NewShepard" blew up in a test flight in 2011.


2013, 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 Engine.
"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 test points.

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 hydraulic system.

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
new orbital-rocket, 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 101.0 km.

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.