The History of Blue Origin

New Glen
Source: Blue Origin

Blue Origin is a private aerospace company founded in 2000 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The company’s mission is to develop technologies that enable human access to space at lower costs and with greater reliability. Blue Origin has developed a range of products, including rocket engines, launch vehicles, and space capsules. The company has been at the forefront of space exploration and development, and its innovations have helped push the limits of space technology.

The early years of Blue Origin were marked by secrecy, and little was known about the company’s activities. In 2006, the company purchased land in Texas, where it built a launch site and test facility. In November 2006, Blue Origin launched its first test vehicle, the Goddard rocket, which reached an altitude of 285 feet.

Over the next several years, Blue Origin continued to test its rockets and develop its technologies. In 2011, the company tested its New Shepard vehicle, which was designed to take tourists on suborbital flights. The New Shepard vehicle was named after Alan Shepard, the first American to reach space. In 2015, Blue Origin successfully landed the New Sheperd vehicle for the first time, a significant achievement that demonstrated it’s capability for reusability and for reducing the cost of spaceflight.

Blue Origin has also worked on developing rocket engines, including the BE-4 engine, which is designed to power the company’s New Glenn launch vehicle. The BE-4 engine uses liquid oxygen and liquefied methane as propellants, which provides a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional rocket fuels. United Launch Alliance is also using the BE-4 engine in their Vulcan orbital launch vehicle.

In recent years, Blue Origin has focused on developing its New Glenn launch vehicle, which is designed to be reusable and capable of delivering payloads to orbit. The New Glenn rocket will be one of the largest rockets ever built, with a height of 313 feet and a diameter of 23 feet. The rocket will be able to carry up to 45 metric tons of payload into low Earth orbit.

In 2021, Blue Origin made headlines with its first crewed flight of the New Shepard vehicle, which carried Jeff Bezos and three other passengers to the edge of space. The successful flight demonstrated the potential for space tourism and marked a significant milestone for Blue Origin.

In addition to its work on rockets and engines, Blue Origin is developing the Blue Moon lunar lander and Orbital Reef space station.

Looking Ahead

Blue Origin has come a long way since its founding in 2000, and its innovations have helped to push the limits of space exploration and development. As the company continues to develop its technologies and explore new frontiers, it will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the future of space exploration.