Blue Origin Ready for Next Step

Posted by on May 2nd, 2012
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Blue Origin, the space exploration company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is ready for it’s close up. Although notoriously secretive in comparison to companies like SpaceX, May is a huge month for Blue and now they’re ready to talk about it.

Not only have wind-tunnel tests come back positive for their Space Vehicle unit, but they are going to begin testing on the rocketry phase of their plan.

Alexander said the resulting spacecraft design “will be officially blessed” at a system requirements review in May. Also during May, Blue Origin expects to begin testing of the thrust chamber assembly for its BE-3 rocket engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Alexander said.

The company, based in Kent, Wash., is receiving $22 million from NASA during the current phase of the space agency’s program to help commercial ventures develop space taxis for the post-shuttle era. The SV isn’t nearly as big as the space shuttle, of course, but it should be capable of transporting up to seven passengers to and from the International Space Station.

The MSNBC post brings up a very interesting issues. Although NASA is currently offering money to four companies Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corp., SpaceX and Blue Origin, many believe that list will shrink with the next round of funding. Many in congress would like to see the space agency pick one horse this early in the game.

No matter who NASA sprinkles with coin, the bang for the buck on such an investment could really pay dividends in cheaper, reliable options for ambitious research. Very interesting.


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