Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket has its first customer


Blue Origin has been circulating a seven-page white paper to National Aeronautics and Space Administration leadership and President Trump's staff about the company's interest in developing a lunar spacecraft to touch down near a crater on the moon's south pole, the Washington Post reported last week.

Jeff Bezos, founder of granted a rare peek inside his space company's headquarters outside Seattle.

Artist's concept of the New Glenn rocket. A distinction between the New Glenn and the New Shepard is that the former will be equipped with enough power to carry heavy cargo payloads and astronauts into orbit around the Earth.

Jeff Bezos' new rocket just scored its first customer. "Welcome to the launch manifest, Eutelsat, can't wait to fly together".

Blue Origin's next-generation rocket on the works - New Armstrong - will be cherishing the memory of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

The two-stage New Glenn variant, shown in the animation, will stand 270 feet (82 meters) tall and haul almost 29,000 pounds, or 13 metric tons, to geostationary transfer orbit, the drop-off point for most communications satellites, like the platforms owned and operated by Eutelsat.

The New Glenn rocket that will be taking up the satellite is created to take off and land vertically, so it can be reused making it a more attractive option than rockets that can only be used once.

"We need to get to a place ultimately that is much more like commercial airliners", Bezos said. The company plans to launch five satellites over the next four years, according to its website.

But the New Glenn may not be the only rocket sporting the BE-4 engine in the future. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Congress passed legislation requiring the government to phase out use of the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine to launch military satellites by 2019, a deadline that is fast approaching. "Looking good", ULA chief executive Tory Bruno tweeted on Monday.

Eutelsat has taken chances on new rockets before, placing its satellites on the inaugural launches of the Atlas 3, Atlas 5, Delta 4 and Ariane 5 ECA boosters in the early 2000s. "It's also a sign of what the space launch market will evolve into". New Glenn, it said, is still being developed and is expected to start flying in 2020.

Bezos and Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer revealed the contract at an aerospace convention in Washington.

When New Glenn blasts off, the space industry is likely to take a very keen interest in how it performs.