Last updated on August 26, 2021
NASA has awarded a NASA Launch Services (NLS) II contract to Blue Origin and their New Glenn Launch Service in accordance with the contract’s on-ramp provision.
The New Glenn launch service will be available to NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) to use for future missions in accordance with the on-ramp provision of NLS II.
NLS II contractors must have the ability to successfully launch and deliver a payload to orbit using a domestic launch service capable of placing, at minimum, a 551 lb. payload into a 124 mile circular orbit at an inclination of 28.5 degrees.
Once New Glenn flies, NASA will be able to certify the rocket for missions, allowing them to compete alongside SpaceX, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin.
The NLS II contracts support the goals and objectives of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Under the contract, NASA can also provide launch services to other government agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Growth for the #SpaceCoast
As part of its activity in the area, Blue Origin is already planning to expand with 90 acres of additional development at Kennedy Space Center to support its commercial launch activities and its existing $205 million, 750,000-square-foot rocket manufacturing complex in Merritt Island at Exploration Park.
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Projects like that are expected to bring high-wage jobs to the region, business opportunities for local specialty contractors and part suppliers, as well as helping Central Florida snag a bigger share of the $330 billion global space industry.
Blue Origin currently has 24 opening for their manufacturing facility at Exploration Park. Click here for the list of current openings.
Named after pioneering astronaut John Glenn, New Glenn is a single configuration heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of carrying people and payloads routinely to Earth orbit and beyond. Featuring a reusable first stage built for 25 missions, New Glenn will build a road to space.
Launching from the #SpaceCoast
New Glenn will lift off from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Base. Following stage separation, the first stage flies back to Earth and lands nearly 1,000 km downrange on a moving ship, allowing the booster to land in heavy sea-states. The second stage engines ignite and the 7-meter fairing separates. The mission is complete when the payload is delivered safely to orbit.
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