Blue Origin Unveils New Rocket That May One Day Take Tourists to Space
Photo via Twitter/Jeff Bezos.
Look out SpaceX. There's a new giant reusable rocket on the block.
On Monday, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos took to Twitter to introduce New Glenn, the company's newest rocket which also happens to be named after John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.
According to the New York Times, the two-stage version of the New Glenn will stretch 270 feet tall and will be capable of low-Earth orbit, while the three-stage rocket will be 313 feet tall and could fly beyond Earth's orbit.
Both versions will feature seven Blue Origin engines.
"Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step," Bezos revealed in an emailed update to the Times, adding that the rocket "is designed to launch commercial satellites and to fly humans into space."
While the company has yet to set a date for launch, the Times reported that Blue Origin aims to launch the New Glenn from Cape Canaveral, Florida, by the end of the decade.
Bezos has also said this past March that paying tourists might be able to experience the weightlessness of space via the company's reusable New Shepard spacecraft as soon as 2018.
Regardless of how soon travelers will have access to space, the substantial costs associated with space travel are certain to limit who will be able to go, at least in the beginning, but with competition heating up between Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, the private space travel market is one to watch.
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