Top Stories

New Glenn’s first deployment has been delayed until late 2022 by Blue Origin

After missing a crucial Pentagon deal last year, Blue Origin has pushed back the first deployment of its Latest Glenn rocket to the late 2022, claiming it “re-baselined” the deployment vehicle’s production. Blue Origin reported on February 25 that the first deployment of the rocket from the Launch Complex 36 situated at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station would take place in the fourth quarter of the year 2022. The company initially intended to deploy New Glenn in the year 2020, but by the early 2020, it had been pushed back to late 2021.

Considering the Space Force’s determination in August not to pick New Glenn for National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Services Acquisition, Jarrett Jones, Blue Origin’s senior vice president in charge of the New Glenn, informed SpaceNews that the timetable had to be moved back for financial and technical causes. Jones stated, “It was a huge success for us.” “We had to think about the numbers.” United Launch Alliance, as well as SpaceX, were chosen as the national security space launch suppliers from 2022 to the year 2027, defeating Blue Origin.

He said that not being chosen cost Blue Origin millions of dollars.  The Air Force awarded Blue Origin a $500 million Launch Service Deal in 2018 October, but the LSA was canceled in 2020 December after Blue Origin earned just $255.5 million. According to Jones, Blue Origin’s inability to win the 5-year procurement deal cost the firm up to $3 billion in sales.

Despite the loss, he claimed that “New Glenn is going forward.” According to the company, it was never a choice to stop designing the vehicle for both commercial and civil space customers. “We remain dedicated to New Glenn, and we also have the tools in place to carry out our plans.” According to Jones, whenever the next offer for NSSL Phase 3 is up for bidding in the year 2024, New Glenn will be able to compete. “In the coming years, we plan to deploy NSSL payloads, and we continue committed to supporting United States national defense mission.”

Blue Origin “re-baselined” the Current Glenn timeline as well as the development plan after losing the Phase 2 deal, according to Jones. “We focused at everything else on the table, like funding and clients, and we formulated a high-probability plan for allocating all of our assets and allocating the appropriate financing.” From the development of the rocket’s broad propellant tanks to the radiation monitoring of its avionics, he cited many advances on the crucial road for New Glenn to reach the new launch date. “I’m worried about everything,” he admitted.

This post was originally published on Downey Magazine