Meet the new rocket from Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin — the enormous New Glenn

new glenn blue origin rocket launch
Blue Origin
The space race is on, and it’s taking place in the private sector. Forget the United States and Russia — it’s really Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk who are competing for dominance off the planet. And now, Bezos has made the latest move, introducing the New Glenn, the future rocket of Blue Origin.

Boasting the capacity to send both payloads and people into the beyond (that is to say, outer space), the New Glenn takes its name from famed astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. And as per newly unveiled images of the New Glenn, this space ship is going to be nothing shy of a monster.


Appearing to be the biggest rocket since the Saturn V, which NASA used several decades ago in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the New Glenn will reportedly measure 23 feet in diameter and range between 270 and 313 feet high. The discrepancy is dependent upon whether the rocket has one or two upper stages atop it — should there be only one, the New Glenn would be capable only of reaching lower Earth orbit. With both upper stages, however, people and satellites can go considerably further.

It’s quite the statement for Blue Origin, which was the first private company to send a rocket into space and successfully recover it on Earth in a vertical landing (though technically, it didn’t go that far into space — just 100 kilometers above Earth’s surface). Since then, however, most space headlines have involved SpaceX and Elon Musk’s impressive achievements beyond our planet. But the latest rocket from Bezos is looking to shake things up.

The New Glenn will far surpass its predecessor’s achievements, though it still doesn’t necessarily have the thrust to go as far as, say, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. Whereas Blue Origin’s new rocket will have about 3.85 million pounds of thrust, the impending Falcon Heavy (though smaller than the New Glenn) will boast around 5 million pounds of thrust.

“Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step. It won’t be the last of course,” Bezos wrote in an email announcing the rocket. “Up next on our drawing board: New Armstrong. But that’s a story for the future.”

Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.