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ChrisJD11 t1_j7yhpio wrote

Shouldn't they at least be able to get to orbit, then maybe the moon before they get a Mars contract?


seanbrockest t1_j7yugvl wrote

It's even worse than that, not only have they not gotten to orbit, they've never even tried to get to orbit. They've never built anything that was even capable of trying for orbit, and right now they don't have anything that launches at all.


danielravennest t1_j80uyvo wrote

Jeff's engines are on the launch pad right now. The ULA Vulcan rocket uses two of them in the first stage. New Glenn will use 7 of them and be reusable (eventually).

Vulcan is a standard throw-away rocket intended to replace the Atlas that has flown for many years.


seanbrockest t1_j81905h wrote

I'm still highly skeptical that an engine with that large of a chamber and that high of a chamber pressure can survive, but I guess we'll see!


seanflyon t1_j81h7ea wrote

They have test fired several of them. It is a hard problem and they have had their share of difficulties in development, but it looks like they have gotten it to work. Time will tell.


Argon1300 t1_j80avpf wrote

I mean... is that really worse? Wouldn't it be worse, had they tried for a decade and never managed?


homelessdreamer t1_j80whg6 wrote

Not in rocket science. It is famously difficult to get to orbit. At least companies that have tried understand what they don't know. Blue Origin only knows how to build gas powered shaftless elevators. Which isn't nothing, but certainly is an order of magnitude easier than orbit.


Argon1300 t1_j80yjid wrote

I mean... lets give them some credit. New Shepard has worked pretty reliably, even considering the recent failure. They have more experience with operating rocket powered vehicles than most other NewSpace companies. More importantly, they have experience with operating human rated reusable spacecraft, even if they just launch vertically up and then fall back down.

The difficulty in spaceflight for most companies arises in keeping their engines running for long enough to make orbit. Chaining two stages together when you already have the experience to operate them is not that much of a leap.

The only reason Blue is taking so long at the moment is because they wanted to skip smallsat launchers (a wise move given their small market and many competitors) and instead start out with a true monster of a rocket in the form of New Glenn. Rockets of that size take time. Compared to any development program of this type that is not SpaceX they are doing perfectly fine.


homelessdreamer t1_j81fg0n wrote

You are absolutely correct, they deserve credit where credit is due. The only thing I would counter you on is the difficulty of launching a large rocket is the number of systems required to work in those environments without failures. Not just the rockets running that long. The reason most space companies start small isn't because they hope to take over the small sat market but because it is more attainable to start small for quicker test and iterations. Bezos strategy is certainly bold but I would argue not very pragmatic. He is basically going all in blind on New Glen. If he pulls it off it will be an incredible feat. But if it fails how many chances will he have to recover. Even Boing, a company with significant industry experience has struggled to keep up with large rocketry in recent years by comparison to Space X. I absolutely love all the competition in space right now but I won't be holding my breath for the first launch of New Glen.


VikingBorealis t1_j81e0bs wrote

Strangely nonenof that translates to orbit or interplanetary travel...


seanbrockest t1_j81b987 wrote

In this case they've literally spent the last TWO decades working on this, and still have yet to even try, so yeah I'd say that's worse when they're applying for contracts.


dhurane t1_j7z1jz3 wrote

It's a relatively cheap launch with New Glenn being oversized for the mission. NASA gets a cheap launch and validate a launch provider while BO gets to boast about winning a NASA mission.


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zczey wrote


NASA awarded pretty big contracts to spacex for lunar lander and starship. That's a platform under development and not at all proven yet.

Blue origin has a similar rocket, blue Glen. NASA wants more commercial launch providers, so a mission like this to cut the teeth of new Glen is a great thing.


robertojh_200 t1_j80az62 wrote

SpaceX is the most advanced launch organization in history, lapping the rest of the world twice over in mass to orbit with a nearly perfect safety record and dirt cheap vehicles.

Blue origin hasn’t been to orbit and their suborbital rocket just failed.

Investing in starship is smart based on track record, blue origin? They literally have no track record.


ketchupthrower t1_j80kv17 wrote

It's in NASA's interest for their to be healthy competition. They don't want to be reliant on the whims of SpaceX (and by extension Musk). SpaceX being dominant is an argument for diversifying the contracts.


ZooZooChaCha t1_j83suvr wrote

NASA has learned its lesson about relying on one provider. Imagine if Boeing was the only commercial crew provider, or when the Space Shuttle was supposed to be the only satellite launch provider in the 80s.

It’s great that SpaceX has succeeded - but you know what’s better? Competition and an equally successful Blue Origin.


robertojh_200 t1_j83zpv5 wrote

That’s all well and good but blue origin has not proven the ability to be successful, even with a sub orbital joyride. Throwing money at the problem won’t solve anything, this is Amazon We are talking about, Jeff Bezos. Money isn’t the issue, it’s management, it’s pipe lining, I don’t want to say it’s talent because I know there’s plenty of talented people there. But blue origin is a laughingstock in the industry for a reason, and it’s going to take more than contracts to get them to a point where they can compete with SpaceX. They already have contracts with other private launch companies, they license out their engine, but they have been holding them back because of their constant delays. If blue origin wasn’t causing so many delays, there probably would be more substantial competition in the industry right now from other launch companies.

I don’t see how they are ready for a Mars contract within the next 10 years


ZooZooChaCha t1_j853u0u wrote

There was a time when SpaceX was the laughingstock as well. Gwen Shotwell is primarily the reason things didn’t end with Falcon 1. Even when NASA gave SpaceX a shot with commercial cargo and later commercial crew, people were skeptical. And if it weren’t for those contracts, SpaceX doesn’t make it.

Blue Origin had one “failure” so far for suborbital and the vehicle performed exactly the way it should in an emergency.


Bewaretheicespiders t1_j7zpfm3 wrote

>Blue origin has a similar rocket, blue Glen.

Do they, though?


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zqrw0 wrote

Starship is further along in development in that a prototype exists, but yeah they are both under development.

Blue origin has spent a billion dollars on manufacturering facilities to build new Glenn. That to me shows they are serious about building it and we should see the first prototype rolling out sometime soon


Bewaretheicespiders t1_j7zrwge wrote

Ive worked for enough startups to know that spending money means nothing.


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zsffu wrote

Then you should know also that starship could be a complete failure too.

But I get it. SpaceX good blue origin bad. That's the thought process around here.


Bewaretheicespiders t1_j7zu779 wrote

Starship has flown hops and landed and its from an enterprises that not only has gone to orbit, but is the planet's premier launch service provider.

New Glen is a couple of pictures of incomplete tanks and fairings.

If Blue Origin wants to be taken seriously, they gotta actually make an orbital rocket and actually go to orbit. You can't just burn money without results and expect people to take you seriously. Its been what, 20 years? I think people (and Nasa) have been patient with them.


MrZorg58 t1_j80hsn4 wrote

One would think so. Bezo's has been using his fortune to sue NASA at damn near every turn, setting back science missions for years to come. NASA having to spend their funds to fight litigation is insanity. But Bezo doesn't care. He wants a cut of the pie, even if he isn't ready to do anything.


Rocket_wanker t1_j81ty08 wrote

Not saying the suit had any grounds, but it was exactly one lawsuit.

Elon has quite a few under his belt now though:

2019 (SpaceX vs AFSMSC)

2019 (SpaceX vs NASA bid protest over a launch procurement, later withdrawn)

2014 (SpaceX vs USAF)

2005 (SpaceX vs Boeing and Lockheed)

Not to mention all the shady shit Starlink has pulled with the FCC.

Lawsuits force change in this industry, acting like one lawsuit somehow shaped NASA’s ability to do anything is absurd.


MrZorg58 t1_j82dl5v wrote

Musk told reporters, it seemed like Bezo's retired to: “Turns out Besos [sic] retired in order to pursue a full-time job filing lawsuits against SpaceX …"

There are other suits he's done, but failed.

I don't really care, but I think it was a stupid decision on NASA's part, to accept 2 billion "donation" and then award the contract to Bezo's, who hasn't even achieved orbital flight yet.

More on some of his other suits against Musk.


pmMeAllofIt t1_j82ng6k wrote

Who cares how Musk words it. It's literally the 1 lunar lander lawsuit, and 1 letter filed to the FCC(along side many others from other telecoms).

Musk has more lawsuits, and more public letters to the FCC against other companies than anyone.


LordBrandon t1_j80yjvu wrote

They awarded the Apollo rockets to companies that had never been to the moon before as well. Pure corruption.


Good_Management7353 t1_j7z055y wrote

Lots of people on here that never read the article and just spewing opinions and misinformation.

The contract they got is to simply launch the ESCAPADE mission through a new program NASA has to basically make these new rocket test launches also have things on top the rocket. ESCAPADE is a cheap small sat mission through NASA’s SIMPLEx program, which are $50 million missions with a single science goal.

ESCAPADE will be the thing studying Mars, and they have a whole team that has nothing to do with BO. They were selected years ago through NASA (just as nasa selects other robotic missions through competitive calls). They’ve been waiting for a lunch provider and this program (which specifically is higher risk but that is ok with cheaper missions) gives them the launch provider they need.

THAT’S IT. Sometimes reading the articles and not just the headlines is helpful


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zq68q wrote

Nah, blue origin bad SpaceX good. How dare they snub SpaceX or so goes the Elon simps in /r/space


kuroimakina OP t1_j7ycakm wrote

Not entirely sure how I feel about Blue Origin getting a contract like this with their current track record. I don’t like how space is becoming a playground for billionaires lately. But, if they push science forward, then in the end it’s a net win.

I’ll reserve judgment until the supposed launch date


Cosmic_Voya93r t1_j7ytnis wrote

Those that have the resources and can serve their own interests, rather than the interests of the masses, are how things are going to get done. Like it or not, the US government had gave up on space exploration before billionaires started showing interest.


dman2864 t1_j7z2m06 wrote

Then they should do it with their own money. I have as much achievement as blue origin. I built a rocket and launched it, the rocket didn't make it to orbit or space but that paper towel tube sure did go high. The government should give me a couple of billion dollars for a mission OR nasa should be doing things in house and not contracting with private for profit companies on the tax payers dime.


wgp3 t1_j7zexw0 wrote

This take is laughably bad and shows a real lack of understanding or intelligence. New Shepard may not be an orbital rocket, but you're vastly under stating the amount of hard engineering that has to go into a vehicle like that. Developing rocket engines in and of itself is one of the hardest parts. And the rest isn't much less difficult. Last time nasa tried to get something similar developed, they failed.

This mission doesn't cost a billion dollars either. The class of mission it is in puts it at under 80 million. Blue origin is all but guaranteed to be taking a big loss in money to launch this payload. And despite your paper towel tube, they actually do have a track record of doing complex engineering and a plan to have a partially reusable heavy lift launch vehicle, unlike you.

Lastly, nasa has always, and I mean always, done things through contracting. Saturn v, space shuttle, SLS, all made by contractors. Nasa owned those designs but again, made by contractors. Not to mention even back decades ago they were launching satellites on rockets that they didn't own. This is no different. They also still do things in house.

Your terrible argument is like saying nasa shouldn't by cars from Ford. And instead should build them from scratch rather than giving tax payer money to Ford, a billion dollar company. It's completely ignorant of how things work for one. And for two, it shows a lack of understanding about why nasa would use services rather than doing every single thing in house. It would be a bigger waste of tax payer money to do it your way.

So instead it is more beneficial to nasa to use the rocket developed by blue origin which has near totally been funded by bezos and his money. So i reiterate that your complaints are just laughably unintelligent and, well, pointless.


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zdb4y wrote

Blue origin has as invested billions of dollars into the development of the Blue Glenn rocket.

It's going to become another player in the commercial launch industry and NASA wants that to happen.

I don't see any problem here


zardizzz t1_j7z4t6z wrote

The taxpayer dime NASA gets is a grain of sand in the US taxpayer budget, if you took it all out you wouldn't even notice. Sorry.

The irony is that NASA finding is net positive for the economy, at least has been, honestly not sure of current status but if this is the hill you want to fight on, we can have a look of any recent info on the topic.


Bewaretheicespiders t1_j80bxc4 wrote

>I have as much achievement as blue origin.

And you did it for cheaper :) People saying "just wait til New Glenn launch next year" are hilarious. Ive been reading this since 2015 at least, when half of today's redditors were in grade school.


decomposition_ t1_j7zmfcv wrote

Well a middle class man with $300,000 to his name certainly isn’t going to afford anything in the space industry


seanflyon t1_j81hthp wrote

Peter Beck was not wealthy when he started Rocket Lab. Elon musk was a millionaire when he started SpaceX. Clearly it does not take a billionaire to start a successful space company.


LordBrandon t1_j80z40e wrote

Remember before the billionaires the rockets were more expensive and less ambitious. Unless you can build a rocket on Kickstarter this is as good as it gets.


teslam3lrrwd36 t1_j7z77xe wrote

Don't you mean the "revised launch date"?


sifuyee t1_j80wmdc wrote

That's actually a big concern with a new player. The launch window to Mars doesn't care what bugs you're ironing out. If they miss the closing of the launch window it's another 2 years before they can make the trip to Mars. I wish them luck.


GhettoFinger t1_j851rar wrote

Keep in mind that this isn't yet a playground for billionaires. None of these companies would exist without NASA, they are glorified apparatuses of NASA. This is actually in NASA's best interest. Without these companies, they would have to do the space launch themselves and bureaucracy would balloon the costs to most of their budget. By delegating this to outside organizations, they can keep the cost of space flight down, while allocating their budget more wisely.

If these companies do anything NASA doesn't like, they would be dropped and disappear over time. If they further get too uppity, the federal government can regulate them out of existence. These companies should be used for what their worth, then when we get what we need, we crush them.


Professional-Tea2326 t1_j82bdp6 wrote

I love how everyone here thinks they a rocket expert. Competition is good take it easy on blue origin


Donindacula t1_j7yjau1 wrote

They must have confidence that the New Glen will be ready in time. Blue must have shared some information with them that NASA has verified.


Decronym t1_j7zqi47 wrote

Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

|Fewer Letters|More Letters| |-------|---------|---| |BO|Blue Origin (Bezos Rocketry)| |C3|Characteristic Energy above that required for escape| |EVA|Extra-Vehicular Activity| |FCC|Federal Communications Commission| | |(Iron/steel) Face-Centered Cubic crystalline structure| |GTO|Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit| |HLS|Human Landing System (Artemis)| |SLS|Space Launch System heavy-lift| |SOP|Standard Operating Procedure| |ULA|United Launch Alliance (Lockheed/Boeing joint venture)| |USAF|United States Air Force|

|Jargon|Definition| |-------|---------|---| |Starlink|SpaceX's world-wide satellite broadband constellation|

^(11 acronyms in this thread; )^(the most compressed thread commented on today)^( has 15 acronyms.)
^([Thread #8542 for this sub, first seen 10th Feb 2023, 15:53]) ^[FAQ] ^([Full list]) ^[Contact] ^([Source code])


sifuyee t1_j80x8fr wrote

What I really want to know is if there's any spare capacity for secondary payloads with this opportunity. The New Glenn looks to have a lot of GTO capability so getting to a C3 for Trans Mars Injection should be well within their capacity to bring some additional payloads. Anyone have any intel on that possibility? NASA's general policy is to make secondary launch available whenever they can so I'm hoping this is the case here.


alvinofdiaspar t1_j81456i wrote

I'd be a little worried - New Glenn doesn't even have a track record and it's less than 2 years from the launch date; it's a 2 year wait if they miss that window.


platinumgus18 t1_j7ylxdw wrote

Just wondering, do companies like SpaceX and blue origin get confidential data and knowledge and technology transfers from NASA for these things so that they can catch up quickly and work on the next ground breaking thing? I mean how can companies just created 10-15 years ago gain so much groundwork within few years and becoming top players in the field? Considering NASA or roscosmos took decades.


Ok-Fox966 t1_j7yrrja wrote

Because they’re private companies, not having to deal with all the government bs really speeds things up. People with money really like making more money


LordBrandon t1_j80zak8 wrote

Don't forget they hire from a pool of engineers that already work in the most advanced aerospace industry in the world.


ssinff t1_j84ze05 wrote

They have the benefit of all the knowledge gained from 8 decades of public funding of the space program. Easy to get off the ground when someone else has done most of the work.


platinumgus18 t1_j85czdf wrote

I presume most of this knowledge won't just be in public domain considering how strategic space is and how several unfriendly countries can use it for other purposes


ssinff t1_j88lhib wrote

Not necessarily. Historically, a ploy it government funded research originated in academia where "pure" research is available in the public domain. If course research with specific applications may exist behind a classification system, but our knowledge of space travel drives from the years and years of publicly funded research.


platinumgus18 t1_j8a02kn wrote

Interesting, so this can also be misused by other governments then right


AreEUHappyNow t1_j7yxfd1 wrote

There's lots of publicly accessible information on the subject, SpaceX in particularly has also paid Russia for access to Soviet rocketry, and most importantly they hire personnel from existing rocket programs who are experienced in their field.


Disastrous_Elk_6375 t1_j809rd6 wrote

> SpaceX in particularly has also paid Russia for access to Soviet rocketry,

They what now?


platinumgus18 t1_j804us8 wrote

Interesting. I have always thought rocketry is considered rather strategic, so I am surprised private companies could just willy nilly get access. Maybe I was wrong. I am just surprised countries like those in the middle east didn't pay their way into space exploration considering their vanity.


ace17708 t1_j87mfyw wrote

This is great for Blue Origin! Competition is fantastic at pushing for better tech and safety standards along with SOP and culture at work.

I seem to recall early in Space Xs life people were look forwards to competition and welcoming it. Same thing happened with Tesla with Musk and the fanbase welcoming it. Then competitors come and all goodwill leaves with people wanting them to fail and quit before they even attempt anything.... thats not productive for anyone.

Also I remember some people here and at a certain Private space sub reddit wishing for the SLS to explode on launch so NASA can just abandon it... Toxic team cheering is not a good look.


SACDINmessage t1_j82p9i0 wrote

Whew…thought they might actually have to put a human in space for a minute there.


starhoppers t1_j7ytg6w wrote

The same NASA that contracted with SpaceX for the yet to be seen Moon Landing System for Artemis.


New_Poet_338 t1_j7yvlwr wrote

We saw the booster fire up 31 engines yesterday. We have been looking at the landing stage for three+ years. They are bending metal at Boca Chica. Sure there is work to be done but nobody is sitting on their hands. Not sure what people expect. Insta-rocket?


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zdl29 wrote

People are criticizing NASA for contracting blue origin and a developmental rocket, but apparently ok to look the other way for NASA contracting a developmental rocket for something of much higher consequence


tanrgith t1_j80229c wrote

I don't really have a much of a problem with BO getting this contract

However trying to argue that BO getting this is in any way comparable to SpaceX getting their HLS contract is pretty silly and doesn't hold up to much scrutiny


[deleted] t1_j807fwp wrote



tanrgith t1_j80ajt8 wrote

Oh there are similarities when you describe the two cases at a surface level. But any kind of deeper look at the two scenarios should make it super obvious that it's not really things that are comparable

The contracts that SpaceX won very early on when they were basically a very young startup with no proven track record. Those contracts are comparable to this contract that BO has been awarded


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j80bf8o wrote

Yeah I'd agree, and good thing the risk was taken back then, just as it's good to do so now with BO


wgp3 t1_j7zgaf5 wrote

While I agree that people are being too harsh, there is quite a difference. SpaceX has experience building not one, not two, but 3 separate orbital rockets. One of them that was previously holding the title for most powerful operational rocket (and uses 27 engines on the first stage). So it makes sense that nasa would trust them to be able to develop their 4th rocket that uses 33 engines and is in a less complex configuration despite being a larger rocket.

The contracts were also very different. No one has a working human landing system for the moon. They're development contracts. The whole point is developing something new and having nasa oversight into some of the technical challenges. This launch contract isn't about development. Nasa isn't going to be helping blue origin get new Glenn ready. Instead they are putting faith that this company that has never developed an orbit rocket can develop one of the most powerful orbital rockets. And have it working by late next year.

Blue has experience developing new Shepard which is far different, but also still shows engineering competency and definitely gives reason to believe in new Glenn coming eventually. But it's still very different scenarios than HLS.


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zo1po wrote

The nuances of both are different but there are similarities, and it fits with NASA strategy of helping to foster the commercial launch industry.

it's definitely risky and a stretch to rely on starship for the moon lander, there are many untested capabilities that have to be developed. It's a developmental rocket, and got the contract.

Blue Glenn is similar in that it's a developmental rocket, and got the contract.


wgp3 t1_j802fdg wrote

I do agree that it fits with nasa strategy. Overall this allows them to have more options for sending cool science payloads out into space. Which is what I think everyone in this sub wants to see more of.

Starship is risky but so were all the other proposals. SpaceX had the most technically adept proposal with the best strategy for mitigating risks. That's why they won and the others did not. And they now get help developing it from nasa.

But there's still a big difference between saying "I'm going to help you build your next generation race car so i can use it for the race season" and "I'm gonna use your race car (without helping) to race in the talladega 500, even though you've only ever built a go kart before now"


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j807jbv wrote

Yeah blue origin will be losing money on this launch. Seems pretty good for NASA.


seanbrockest t1_j7yvh1f wrote

I think SpaceX has lots of time to get that working, since Artemis is insanely behind schedule anyway.

Further, that's a different kind of contract. NASA is paying to have something built that has never been done before. If SpaceX doesn't hit milestones in that contract, they don't get paid. They both know that.

Even further, SpaceX underbid that contract to win it. They're using some of their own money to build it, knowing they will use the tech themselves down the road.


AreEUHappyNow t1_j7yxmnx wrote

Why would they start building a full Artemis mockup when the generic Starship upper stage hasn't been finalised yet? That makes absolutely zero sense, at the very least they need to achieve orbit and confirm their design works before building a moon lander. You have to walk before you can run.


starhoppers t1_j7zzmfo wrote

Exactly my point. There is no way a Starship-based lunar lander will be ready in time. In fact, I believe the Starship will not be used as a lander at all and expect to see NASA use a more conventional design.


Bensemus t1_j80g7b8 wrote

NASA bought more Starship landings. They seem to have quite a bit of confidence in the rocket.


tanrgith t1_j802ein wrote

So SpaceX won't be able to have a starship based lander ready in time....but some other aerospace company will? As far as jokes go that's a pretty good one


LordBrandon t1_j80zt5e wrote

There are zero functioning human moon landing systems in the world. Even if there were a few, dissimilar redundancy can bring down the cost.


Majestic_Magi t1_j81ongt wrote

I wonder how many lawsuits it took them to get the contract