Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin has successfully tested its main engine for the first time.
The BE-4 engine is, as the name suggests, Blue Origin's fourth generation rocket. B-1 was a wee thing that boasted 2,200 pounds of thrust. B-2 hit 31,000 pounds and B-3 reached 110,000.
The B-4 cranks things up to 550,000 pounds from a single engine. By way of comparison, the Merlin engine used in SpaceX's rockets emit 190,000 pounds of thrust. Which is why SpaceX packs nine of them into a single Falcon 9 rocket.
Blue Origin's New Glenn rockets will put seven BE-4 engines in harness for a total 3.85 million lbs of thrust and a payload of 13 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit or 45 metric tons to low earth orbit. The Falcon 9's payloads to the same spots are 8,300kg and 22,800kg.
Here's the BE-4 in action, during a Friday test that apparently went off without a hitch.
The BE-4's first mission won't be a Blue Origin flight. Instead it's slated to power a Vulcan rocket operated by the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company currently operates Atlas and Delta rockets, but is betting Blue Origin can power its next-generation Vulcan by 2019.
The test recorded above suggests that schedule isn't unreasonable.
Blue Origin is also working on the BE-4U, a variant of the engine for in-orbit propulsion.
All versions of the engine run a combination of liquid oxygen and liquefied natural gas, fuels that are easy to acquire and don't require inert gases to enable pressurisation. They also burn clean, which helps Blue Origin to achieve its goal of quick-and-easy re-use of its first stage rockets. ®
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HUGE first test for the BE-4 engine. So proud and grateful to get to work at such an amazing place doing things like this. The BE-4 completed its full 3 second test at 50% thrust. Can’t confirm but we think this is the first major engine to ever start successfully on the first shot. In comparison, it took the Space Shuttle Main Engine over 40 tests to get a successful start. The BE-4 is one of two major engine programs using LNG and LOX, a propellant combination that’s been a goal of the aerospace industry for decades. Once at full thrust this will be one of the largest engines ever made.
There were thousands of small steps by hundreds of people to make this happen. And there will be thousands more before we get to orbit. I couldn’t imagine anywhere I’d rather work. #blueorigin#be4#rocket#engine#stem#rocketscience#seattle#washington#texas
Today’s episode is out! Pictured here is the payload bay of the Space Shuttle Columbia, with a spectacular view of the United States. Towards the back of the bay, you’ll notice the United States Microgravity Laboratory 2, where most of the experiments for STS-73 were conducted. Kent Rominger, a Colorado native and NASA Astronaut, was on this mission, and he helped with some of the experiments done on potatoes. A fitting job for him, since he’s from a part of Colorado known for potato farming.
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Blue Origin conducted a hot-fire test of its new BE-4 rocket engine, the most powerful American-built rocket engine in decades, that could power both Blue's own New Glenn heavy-lift rocket and the upcoming United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket.
Blue Origin memastikan telah mengantongi dukungan dari Dewan Antariksa nasional untuk mengkoordinasikan rencana eksplorasi ruang angkasa dan mengupayakan keamanan nasional oleh sektor publik dan swasta.
Bob Smith, CEO Blue Origin membocorkan rencana membuka paket wisata ke luar angkasa pada awal 2019 nanti.
Jika rencana ini berjalan mulus, maka Blue Origin akan menjadi perusahaan pertama yang mengirim manusia sebagai wisatawan antariksa. Sementara pesiangnya, SpaceX hingga kini belum ada tanda-tanda mewujudkan rencana serupa.
Sumber : @infia_techno
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