Blue Origin Sets the Stage: New Glenn Booster En Route to Launch Site

Blue Origin's New Glenn Rockets to New Heights: A Pivotal Journey Unveiling the Future of Space Exploration.


In a significant move, Blue Origin has transported a New Glenn booster to LC-36 from its manufacturing facility near Kennedy Space Center, signaling substantial progress in the rocket program. While the extent of flight hardware remains uncertain, these recent developments add momentum, fueling optimism for a potential 2024 launch.

Key Developments:

  • Blue Origin shifts a New Glenn booster from its Kennedy Space Center factory to LC-36.
  • The booster, comprising both aft and forward sections, now stands as a complete rocket stage, showcasing tangible progress in New Glenn’s ongoing development.
  • Recent updates and hardware transitions underscore a renewed push toward the envisioned 2024 launch date, gaining credibility with each advancement.

Significance of the Movement:

  • The booster, previously seen as the first public tank section of New Glenn, now forms an integral part of a fully assembled rocket stage.
  • Transported to LC-36, the stage finds its place in the integration facility, aligning with Blue Origin’s commitment to having the first flight vehicle ready by the close of 2023.

Upcoming Milestone: ESCAPADE Mission:

  • Blue Origin’s imminent goal is to launch its inaugural New Glenn rocket for NASA in the upcoming ESCAPADE mission.
  • ESCAPADE involves deploying a dual spacecraft payload to Mars during the transfer window, marking a series of significant milestones for Blue Origin within a single flight.

Balancing Risk and Anticipation:

  • NASA’s decision to place payloads on New Glenn’s inaugural flight reflects the evolving norms in space exploration.
  • While Blue Origin brings extensive experience with over 20 suborbital flights using the New Shepard rocket, the success of New Glenn’s maiden flight remains pivotal for Jeff Bezos’ substantial investments.

Looking Forward:

  • Despite specific sections of the booster carrying “NOT FOR FLIGHT” markings, suggesting potential replacements, the overall hardware progress is promising.
  • Future expectations include witnessing hardware at Blue Origin’s launch pad in Florida for testing ahead of the scheduled ESCAPADE launch later this year.