Blue Origin’s New Glenn pathfinder makes an appearance

Space Coast, FL – Today, Blue Origin Space Coast facility crews rolled out a New Glenn pathfinder. The test article will be used for ground crews to test lifting and moving of the rocket. Just like any rocket manufacturing company, safety comes first. Workers can be seen in the photos for scale.

Blue Origin's New Glenn Pathfinder test article
Blue Origin's New Glenn Pathfinder test article | Photo: Jon Van Horne

New Glenn

When completed, New Glenn is to lift off from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral, FL. Following stage separation, the first stage flies back to Earth and lands nearly 1,000 km downrange on a moving ship, allowing the booster to land in heavy sea-states. The second stage engines ignite and the 7-meter fairing separates. The mission is complete when the payload is delivered safely to orbit.

Forward or TOP section of New Glenn pathfinder
Forward or TOP section of New Glenn pathfinder | Photo: Jon Van Horne

The New Glenn will have a seven-meter fairing. This will feature more than twice the payload volume of any five-meter class commercial launch system. The second stage (not photographed) will be powered by two re-ignitable BE-3U engines giving 240,000 ibf (pounds of thrust).

Aft section (bottom) of the New Glenn pathfinder
Aft section (bottom) of the New Glenn pathfinder | Photo: Jon Van Horne

The New Glenn rocket (when completed) will use seven reusable and throttable BE-4 LOX/LNG engines. The first stage will generate 3.85M ibf (pounds of thrust) at sea level.

There is still much testing and work to be done, but don't count out Blue Origin just yet in the commercial space race.

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