After losing a Space Force contract, private space company Blue Origin has announced that its maiden flight to New Glenn will be postponed to the fourth quarter of 2022. The company hopes to launch the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) payloads in the future alongside civil law contracts among other things.
New Glenn is Blue Origin’s reusable orbital rocket that has been manufactured for years. The privately owned space company offers a number of features New Glenn has, including the ability to take off and land in 95 percent of the weather conditions, as well as twice the payload volume of competing spacecraft.
Blue Origin built the reusable rocket for at least 25 flights. The idea is that reusing the first stage will speed things up while reducing costs. Half a dozen hydraulic legs support the first phase of landing on a moving ship, explains Blue Origin.
In its update today, Blue Origin said it “refined” its New Glenn schedule to meet demand from its commercial customers. The company said it had notified its customers of the change to ensure they continue to meet their needs and that the company will honor its commercial contracts, pursue a large and growing commercial market, and land new contracts for civil rooms launch. ‘
The company specifically cites the Space Force’s decision to skip New Glenn for the Phase 2 Launch Services procurement contract as the reason for the schedule change. In addition to its commercial customers, Blue Origin hopes that at some point it will be able to launch NSSL payloads for the government.