Feeds

Bold Bezos aims skywards with liquid hydrogen and SPACE ROCKET engine

Blue Origin fires up its BE-3 machine

Top three mobile application threats

Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos' private space outfit Blue Origin has announced it has successfully tested its BE-3 space rocket engine "in a pattern that simulated a suborbital mission".

The BE-3 firing. Pic: Blue Origin

The BE-3 roared to life at the company's test facility near Van Horn, Texas, on 20 November. Burning liquid hydrogen, it "produced 110,000 pounds (49,900kg) in a 145-second boost phase, shutting down for approximately four-and-a-half minutes to simulate coast through apogee, then restarting and throttling down to 25,000 pounds (11,340kg) thrust to simulate controlled vertical landing".

The motor is designed to lift Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital system, and ultimately carry humans to low Earth orbit as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Rob Meyerson, Blue Origin's prez and and program manager, said: "The BE-3 will gain extensive flight heritage on our New Shepard suborbital system prior to entering service on vehicles carrying humans to low-Earth orbit. Given its high-performance, low cost, and reusability, the BE-3 is well suited for boost, upper-stage and in-space applications on both government and commercial launch systems.”

The "reusability" factor is a novel feature of the New Shepard concept, representing a boost stage which returns to terra firma, hence the test's simulated controlled vertical landing phase.

According to NASA, the BE-3 is "the first new liquid-hydrogen rocket engine built for production since the RS-68, which was developed more than a decade ago for the Delta IV rocket family".

It's a bold choice of fuel for Blue Origin, at a time when many rocket scientists - including those working for rival space-chaser SpaceX - favour easy-to-handle RP-1 (kerosene).

While a SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully deployed a communications satellite into geostationary orbit on Tuesday, there's no indication of just when Blue Origin's New Shepard will get off the ground. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.