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Default Blue Origin Enlarges New Glenn’s Fairing, Preparing to Debut Upgraded New Shepard
by Nicholas Kang 09-13-2017, 09:15 AM

PARIS — Blue Origin will likely launch the third iteration of its New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle by year’s end, paving the way for a human-rated version and ironing out the reusability plan for the orbital New Glenn rocket.

The company also revealed a large, 7-meter payload fairing for New Glenn, meant for launching more voluminous payloads than the original design.

"We are step by step trying to incorporate lessons learned as we go," Blue Origin's Clay Mowry said Sept. 12 during a panel discussion at World Satellite Business Week. Credit: SpaceNews/Brian Berger
“We have a new upgraded version of New Shepard that has actually been shipped to the launch site, and we’ll be flying again before the end of this year,” Clay Mowry, Blue Origin’s vice president of sales, marketing and customer experience said at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week. “We hope to have human flights in 2018. It’s designed to take six astronauts into suborbital flight above the Von Karman line.”

The third New Shepard has modifications for improved reusability, he said, such as access panels that enable more rapid servicing in between flights. Blue Origin is also trying to improve New Shepard’s thermal protection.

“Our third propulsion module we are going to test hopefully by the end of this year — we are going to fly it again, testing it next year, and then there is a fourth propulsion module that will be coming, which is the one we actually fly people on,” he said. “We are step by step trying to incorporate lessons learned as we go.”

Another major difference between the second and third versions include real capsule windows, Mowry said — the ones on version two were painted.
Source: Spacenews.com

Last edited by Nicholas Kang; 09-13-2017 at 09:17 AM.
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