A New Heavy is on the Horizon

I am glad to see another commercial space operation moving forward. Competition will move us forward in space operations more quickly I think that just having the national space agencies involved.

The ‘heavy lift’ capability of the Falcon Heavy, New Glenn and the SLS means that more in-depth space exploration and industrialization will be within our reach.

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It’s no secret that there is a healthy rivalry between Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origins company, and Elon Musk and SpaceX. Each has an operating launch vehicle, but SpaceX clearly leads the race with its Falcon 9 rocket. Blue Origins’ New Shepard rocket reaches space, but lacks the umph to enter orbit. Blue Origins, however, has had significant successes returning its rockets to safely land back at their launch pads, something SpaceX has had mixed results with. Still, Elon Musk has been vocal about the differences in orbital capabilities of the two competing rockets, and he’s right – Blue Origins trails its rival.

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But now Blue Origins is looking to one-up SpaceX. It has announced a new heavy lift launch vehicle called New Glenn, after astronaut and pilot John Glenn. By commercial standards the New Glenn rocket is massive. At 313 feet tall and 23 feet in diameter, the…

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