Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin signs Eutelsat as first customer

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Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin signs Eutelsat as first customer

The Elon Musk led company is believed to have obtained something of an edge over Blue Origin when it comes to spaceflights courtesy of cheaper prices and a wider assortment of signed contracts. When completed, the New Glenn will use seven BE-4 engines.

The New Glenn rocket is named after NASA astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth.

Space company Blue Origin now has its first paying customer for a commercial launch, with European satellite company Eutelsat in 2021 or 2022.

The Seattle-based company, which now employs about 1,000 people, also has begun renovating Launch Complex 36 and adjacent Launch Complex 11 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where it will launch New Glenns and test their BE-4 main engines.

"Our goal, and we won't stop until we achieve it, is to dramatically lower launch costs", Bezos said at the conference, as reported by the Post. The name of the company is Blue Origin.

Bezos offered no updates on that program Tuesday, but did reveal new details about the New Glenn, which will fly in two-stage and three-stage versions standing 270 feet and 313 feet tall, respectively.

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The United Launch Corporation, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing that has been the military's primary launch provider over the past decade, now uses the RD-180 to launch probes and resupply the International Space Station.

And these engines may power more than just Blue Origin's rockets.

Faced with criticism for using Russian-made RD-180 engines for the launch of military satellites, ULA opted to build a new rocket that will use the fourth-generation engine.

Eutelsat Chief Executive Rodolphe Belmer said the company was convinced that Blue Origin had the "right mind-set to compete in the launch service industry".

Eutelsat has taken chances on new rockets before, placing its satellites on the inaugural launches of the Atlas 3, Atlas 5, Delta 4 and Ariane 5 ECA boosters in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, New Glenn's launch and landing capabilities are certainly worth a watch. I'm sure development of New Armstrong will get serious once New Glenn proves itself. In including New Glenn in our manifest we are pursuing our longstanding strategy of innovation that drives down the cost of access to space and drives up performance.

"It's really a great partnership", he said of the contract with Eutelsat. "This can only be good news for the profitability and sustainability of our industry".

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