Jeff Bezos' Aerospace Company 'Blue Origin' is Close To Winning U.S. Military Funding

Saturday, 14 April 2018 - 4:12PM
Space
Military Tech
Saturday, 14 April 2018 - 4:12PM
Jeff Bezos' Aerospace Company 'Blue Origin' is Close To Winning U.S. Military Funding
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Blue Origin
Blue Origin might not be as big of a player in the current space race as other companies like SpaceX or Boeing, but it does have a couple advantages: the large financial backing of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and a potential future making rockets for United States military missions.

Late last year, Blue Origin entered the running for a potential wave of funding from the U.S. Air Force, with competing companies SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and Orbital ATK also gunning for the same prize. The Air Force is looking for potential new orbital rockets (as opposed to deep space rockets like NASA's Space Launch System rocket) for future launches.

Nearly all of these companies have received military funding in the past for different engines, rockets, etc. with Blue Origin receiving a chunk of money to fund their BE-4 engine, designed as a replacement to the Russian RD-180 engine that the military currently relies on for many of their rocket launches.

But if successful, Blue Origin could have a new source of income to put together its experimental New Glenn rocket. Much like SpaceX's various Falcon rockets, parts of New Glenn like its entire first stage will be reusable, although it's mostly designed simply to take people and things into Earth's orbit, as opposed to the Moon or Mars (or farther).  



For Bezos' space company, its Air Force aspirations are a departure from its other and more prominent goal, which is luxury space trips for rich tourists. Just last December, it launched a mannequin into space on its New Shepard rocket, although it only traveled to the very border of space - with the idea being that anybody with the cash to pay for it could travel to orbit and see the Earth from above for a few minutes.

It's a decidedly less scientific venture than other groups. SpaceX and Boeing are both determined to send astronauts to Mars, but Blue Origin seemed content with just sending people into orbit for money. A wave of new Air Force funding could give them something new to do, assuming another aerospace giant doesn't grab it instead.
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