Today we look at Blue Origin and there contribution to the CCDev/CCDev2 programs.
Blue Origin are working on the New Shepherd sub-orbital craft to provide customer’s trip to the edge of space, allow a period of time of weightlessness before returning to the launch site. Unlike Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo this will be a capsule based craft and will return using parachutes.
In the future they are will be launching the Biconic Space Vehicle for orbital operations. This craft will use some of the components from New Shepherd as well as a re-usable first stage booster. From what I can determine neither of these have actually been built and I was not able to determine when they would be. SpaceX recently announced that they are working on re-usable booster components to reduce costs but as yet have no date when they would even begin testing.
While Blue Origin are making progress they seem to be a long way behind some of the other players in the CCDev/CCDev2 arena and while coming later to the industry shouldn’t hurt them too much as we need more competition they will have a lot more to prove at that point to catch up.