Blue Origin Nears Flight Test Certification for BE-4 Rocket Engine

The Blue Origin BE-4 might get certified for flight tests by December of this year. It is about 5-6 years late for an original 2017 planned operational date. The BE-4 engine project started in 2014. It would be the most powerful liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled rocket engine ever developed. Using an oxygen-rich staged combustion …

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Blue Origin New Shepard NS-23 Fails at Max Q During Payload Flight

New Shepard’s 23rd mission, a dedicated payloads flight, was to fly 36 payloads from academia, research institutions, and students across the globe. The booster rocket failed about 1 minute into the flight as it reached MaxQ. The unmanned crew capsule did seperate and land safely. There were no passengers but if there were passengers they …

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Blue Origin Was Doomed from the Start

In 2018, Blue Origin paid consultants to tell them how to copy the success of SpaceX. Ars Technica reviewed the consultant’s advice and findings about rapid iterative testing and how motivated SpaceX employees were. There were other comments about customer focus and focus on achieving low cost. However, the main Blue Origin problems were no …

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20 Employees and Former Employee Say Blue Origin is Unsafe

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it is reviewing allegations about safety issues at Blue Origin after a former employee and 20 anonymous staff raised concerns in a critical essay published at this link. Blue Origin’s former head of employee communications Alexandra Abrams and 20 other current employees accuse Jeff Bezos and his space …

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US Air Force Cut Blue Origin and Northrop Rocket Development Funding

The US Air Force is ending Launch Service Agreement contracts awarded in October 2018 to Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman, as well as to ULA. The Launch Service Agreement contracts were to help Phase 2 competitors pay for launch vehicle development and infrastructure. Blue Origin received $500 million; Northrop Grumman $792 million and ULA $967 …

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