Its three-stage version will be able to fly missions beyond low-Earth orbit, Bezos said. He revealed that the new rocket should launch for the first time within the decade. “Our vision is millions of people living and working in space,” he added. Like the New Shepard rocket, the New Glenn will feature a reusable first stage that will fly itself to touchdown on an off-shore barge or on a landing pad near the launch site. Blue Origin’s new boosters will be built at a sprawling new plant now under construction just outside the Kennedy Space Center. He said the factory needed to be near the launch site to ease “the challenge of processing and transporting really big rockets.”
Blue Origin’s New Glenn will face stiff competition from SpaceX’s low-cost Falcon 9 boosters. At this time SpaceX is a major player in the commercial space industry, a leading innovator and a key partner in NASA’s International Space Station program.