Blue Origin has announced their New Glenn has been selected for 12 launches, with options for as many as 15 additional launches, to deploy Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite constellation.
Project Kuiper’s constellation of 3,236 advanced satellites aims to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband service around the globe. The launches are manifested for a five-year period from Launch Complex 36 (LC-36) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which Blue Origin has rebuilt from the ground up.
New Glenn is a heavy-lift launch vehicle specifically suited to lift significant mass and volume to LEO. Its seven-meter fairing enables twice the payload volume of any five-meter class commercial launch system and its reusable first stage is built for a minimum of 25 missions.
New Glenn is powered by seven BE-4 engines and is capable of launching more than 13 metric tons to GTO and 45 metric tons to 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).
In addition to Project Kuiper, New Glenn is also manifested to carry payloads for three of the six largest satellite operators in the world: Eutelsat, JSAT, and Telesat. NASA previously selected New Glenn for its launch services catalog, approving the rocket to compete for NASA’s advanced science and exploration missions.
“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.”