Blue Origin, the space company founded by Jeff Bezos, appears to be making significant progress towards launching its long-anticipated New Glenn rocket within the next 12 months. The company is currently in the process of assembling the massive rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. While there is a history of delays, Blue Origin has been consistent in targeting a 2024 launch for New Glenn, and recent signs, including statements from a senior Blue Origin official, suggest real progress is being made. The New Glenn rocket is a two-stage behemoth standing over 320 feet tall with the capacity to carry nearly 100,000 pounds of payload into low-Earth orbit. NASA has expressed its intention to launch one of its robotic Mars missions, named ESCAPADE, on the inaugural flight of New Glenn. The mission is slated for August 2024, but alternative launch trajectories are under consideration.
Blue Origin’s vice president, Lars Hoffman, outlined the company’s readiness and plans to conduct engine testing in the coming months, emphasizing their commitment to launching New Glenn next year. Despite a history of delays and the Berger’s Law guideline suggesting potential postponements, Blue Origin seems determined to meet its 2024 launch schedule for New Glenn. The company’s efforts include ongoing construction at the launch pad, visible progress in the manufacturing plant, and plans for cryogenic propellant loading tests in Florida. With Blue Origin’s focus on reusability, including the recovery of boosters on offshore platforms, the upcoming New Glenn launch signifies a critical milestone in Jeff Bezos’s broader space ambitions.