Recently, Blue Origin, the space company of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (Jeff Bezos), used modular transportation to install the first stainless steel from Project Jarvis in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The test tank was installed at Launch Pad Complex 36. The photo shows that part is surprisingly similar to the storage tank on the prototype of the Elon Musk company’s SpaceX super-heavy rocket booster.
Blue Origin is rapidly advancing “Project Jarvis,” which aims to develop a fully reusable upper stage for the “New Glenn” rocket. A company spokesperson said the test tank could begin a series of tests as early as next month to determine its strength and ability to hold pressurized propellant.
Although Blue Origin has yet to publicly discuss the details of the improved reusable plan for the New Glenn rocket, sources said the company’s primary goal is to reduce the overall launch cost of the New Glenn rocket. The upper stage of this launch vehicle has a diameter of 7 meters, has two BE-3U engines, and is expensive. For Blue Origin to compete with SpaceX’s Interstellar Spacecraft Launch System, it is necessary to make New Glenn fully reusable.
Testing the storage tank project is an important part of creating a reusable upper level. The second aspect is the selection and finalization of the second level design. Both projects are in the works and progress in Blue Origin’s “Advanced Development Projects Department”.
“Project Jarvis” consists of storage tanks intended to quickly prototype propellant storage tanks to withstand the rigorous testing of multiple launches and re-entering the atmosphere. Blue Origin engineers are studying the use of stainless steel as the material for these tanks, just as SpaceX produces interstellar spacecraft and super-heavy boosters. Stainless steel is cheaper and more able to withstand atmospheric heat that re-enters the atmosphere, but weighs about 5 times that of composite materials.
To move fast and test whether SpaceX’s iterative design concept could be emulated, Blue Origin founder Bezos called on the “Jarvis Project” to lead the “Jarvis Project” to innovate in an environment free of strict management and paperwork processes. authorized engineers. This prompted the rapid development of storage tank research and development and shipping it to the launch pad.
Another team is studying three different ways to design and load the aircraft, the source said. One is to install a massive wing on the upper level so that it looks and acts like a space shuttle, detaches from the booster and transfers the payload, and then returns to the runway.
The second method involves the use of the Aerospike engine, which acts as a heat shield upon return to Earth’s atmosphere. This method has great potential, but may require the design and manufacture of new engines, which would be an expensive and time-consuming process.
The third method is similar to SpaceX’s interstellar spacecraft concept: using a combination of flaps and propulsion combustion to lift the vehicle vertically. It appears to be the best of the three options, and Blue Origin is expected to make a final decision before the end of this year.
But regardless of the final design, the three designs’ propellant storage tanks will be cylindrical, which allows the “Jarvis Project” team to advance their development plan. It has been reported that the construction speed of this test tank is much faster than other Blue Origin projects, which could use rapid, iterative development to verify Bezos’ experiments.
A source said of Blue Origin’s motto “gradatim ferociter” (Latin, meaning step by step, boldly moving forward): “Bezos now wants to emphasize ‘move forward’ in our motto.”