Blue Origin to Complete More Milestones for Spacecraft Development
NASA and Blue Origin of Kent, Wash., signed an agreement this week to extend their Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) partnership in an unfunded capacity. Between now and mid-2014, Blue Origin will continue to advance the subsystems of its biconic-shaped spacecraft, putting emphasis on power and actuation systems, in-space propulsion, multiplex avionics and flight mechanics. The company also will progress the spacecraft’s guidance, navigation and control systems.
Later this year, Blue Origin will focus on test firing its liquid-oxygen and liquid-hydrogen fueled BE-3 engines, building on the full-scale thrust chamber testing accomplished during the funded portion of its CCDev2 agreement. The test fire will take place at the company’s West Texas Launch Site. In the winter, the company will outline the progress it has made toward designing, manufacturing and assembling its subscale booster propellant tank.
This CCDev2 extension will allow NASA to provide expert feedback to Blue Origin as the company works through additional milestones.