Blue Origin to Begin Suborbital Test Flights this Year
In April 2015, company officials confirmed that Blue Origin
has completed the development of a hydrogen-fueled engine and will conduct unmanned test flights later this year. The engine – which is the first of its kind in the United States – can be throttled between 110,000 and 200,000 pounds of thrust, a key capability for vertical takeoff and vertical landing vehicles. Jeff Bezos, billionaire and founder of the popular Amazon.com, is the creator of Blue Origin. The company’s main goal is to one day make space travel affordable enough for private citizens to explore the Solar System. The hydrogen engine, named BE-3, has been a challenge to create.
"Liquid hydrogen is challenging, deep throttling is challenging and reusability is challenging. This engine has all three. The rewards are highest performance, vertical landing even with a single-engine vehicle and low cost. And, as a future upper stage engine, hydrogen greatly increases payload capabilities,” Bezos said in a statement.So far, the engine has undergone some preliminary testing.
"The BE-3 has now been fired for more than 30,000 seconds over the course of 450 tests,"
"We test, learn, refine and then test again to push our engines. The Blue Origin team did an outstanding job exploring the corners of what the BE-3 can do, and soon we'll put it to the ultimate test of flight."
The new engine will be tested on-board the New Shepard spaceship. It is designed to carry up to three passengers or a mix of people and cargo around 100 kilometers above earth. Blue Origin says it is too early to tell how long it will be before the company starts flying people into space, and does not know how much a ticket on the spaceship would be. Via our proprietary website ASAP AOG Services
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Posted on April 15, 2015