Blue Origin’s New Glenn Chartered for Another 27 Project Kuiper Constellation Launches

By Gabrielle Haag

Image courtesy of: Blue Origin

Blue Origin has announced its New Glenn orbital reusable launch vehicle has been selected for 12 more launches, with options for up to 15 additional launches to deploy Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite constellation. Project Kuiper was set up in 2019 to deploy a large broadband satellite internet constellation todeliver high-speed, low-latency broadband service globally. A total of 91 launches are set to take place over the course of a five-year period from Launch Complex 36 (LC-36) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle is named after pioneering astronaut John Glenn and is capable of carrying people and payloads routinely to Earth orbit and beyond. Its design accounts for at least 25 total launches in use.

Image courtesy of: Blue Origin

“We’re honored to support Amazon’s ambitious mission to provide reliable, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world through New Glenn and our BE-4 engines,” said Jarrett Jones, Senior Vice President, New Glenn, Blue Origin. “New Glenn’s massive seven-meter fairing offers unprecedented mass and volume capabilities, and provides Project Kuiper maximum launch flexibility. We also congratulate our partner, United Launch Alliance, who was also selected today by Amazon to support Project Kuiper. We’re proud to build American-made engines for ULA’s Vulcan Centaur.”

Image courtesy of: AWS

New Glenn is powered by seven massive BE-4 engines and is capable of launching more than 13 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and 45 metric tons to low earth orbit (LEO). The BE-4 is the nation’s first reusable, oxidizer-rich staged combustion booster engine using liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Swanky.

In addition to Project Kuiper, New Glenn is also chartered to carry payloads for three of the six largest satellite operators in the world: Eutelsat, JSAT, and Telesat. When it comes to blanketing low earth orbit with thousands of satellites to be used for global high-speed internet, it would seem Amazon’s Blue Origin is looking to corner yet another market in tech.

Just keep the packages coming in two days, Jeffrey.