For the first time, it’s starting to feel like Jeff Bezos’s space company, Blue Origin, might have a shot at launching its long-delayed New Glenn rocket within the next 12 months.
Of course, there’s a lot for Blue Origin to test and validate before New Glenn is ready to fly. First, the company’s engineers need to fully assemble a New Glenn rocket and raise it on the company’s sprawling seaside launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. There’s a good chance of this happening in the coming months as Blue Origin readies for a series of tanking tests and simulated countdowns at the launch site.
It’s tempting to invoke Berger’s Law, the guideline championed by my Ars colleague which states that if a launch is scheduled for the fourth quarter of a calendar year—and if it is at least six months away—the launch will delay into the next year. Given Blue Origin’s history of New Glenn delays, that’s probably the safer bet. New Glenn’s inaugural flight has been delayed from 2020 until 2021, then 2022, and for now, is slated for 2024.