Today, during a media invent at Florida’s premier launch complex on Cape Canaveral, Jeff Bezos unveiled a picture that could change everything for his private space company Blue Origin.
The photo reveals Blue Origin’s new rocket that looks completely different from the “New Shepherd” rocket it is currently testing for commercial spaceflight, which looks like this:
The big difference between the two is that this new rocket will be significantly more powerful than “New Shepherd.”
Up to this point, Blue Origin’s current plans were to usher people into space for a brief 10-minute experience of weightlessness, not to mention a great view of Earth. But “New Shepherd” does not have the power to travel deep into space — it can’t even get payloads to the International Space Station, like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets have been doing since 2010.
But with this new monster rocket — which has not yet been tested as far as we know — Blue Origin is thinking much bigger. Although Bezos would not provide many details about the purpose of the rocket, it appears to be very similar to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. It is even designed to be fully reusable, Bezos said.
Right now, SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets are the only rockets capable of reaching the ISS that have a reusable first-stage booster. If Blue Origin’s new, yet-to-be-named rocket is a success, it could become a major competitor in the future of reusable rockets.
Bezos said that there will be more details about this mystery, monster rocket next year.
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