Bezos to challenge SpaceX/Ariane
September 13, 2016
By Chris Forrester
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has confirmed that he will build a family of rockets, called ‘New Glenn’, which will be similar in concept to the reusable rockets already conceived by SpaceX and planned by Arianespace.
The suite of rockets is named in honour of John Glenn, the first-ever American to orbit the Earth.
The massive two-stage New Glenn stands 270 ft tall, and is to be powered with seven giant rocket engines, already planned to be used in the USA’s United Launch Alliance (from the former Delta and Atlas operators).
Even bigger at 313 ft tall, the three-stage variant will be even more powerful.
Bezos said the rocket will come into use before the end of this decade. Bezos has already launched – and re-landed – his Blue Origin/New Shepard reusable rocket, which in essence is the first stage of the New Glenn vehicle.