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Blue Origin: Summary of proposed facility

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:57 am
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As a commercial venture, Blue Origin, LLC (Blue Origin) proposes to develop a launch facility to operate its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), which is expected to carry paying passengers on suborbital, ballistic trajectories to altitudes in excess of 325,000 feet above sea level. Blue Origin proposes to locate its launch facility on privately-owned property in Culberson County, Texas. Operations at the launch facility would include development testing, pre-flight processing and flight, landing and recovery activities. To accommodate these activities, Blue Origin proposes to construct a variety of buildings and related improvements. Blue Origin’s anticipated operations require that it obtain an experimental permit and/or a license from the Federal Aviation Administration.


Blue Origin proposes to develop a launch facility in Culberson County, Texas. The facility and its infrastructure would be used solely for the testing and operation of Blue Origin’s RLV. The proposed infrastructure would include, among other things, a launch complex (launch pad, propellant storage and test pad), home base (vehicle processing facility, operations building and ordnance bunker), landing pad, electrical power plant, vehicle garage, security fence and roads.

The Blue Origin RLV would be comprised of a propulsion module and a crew capsule and would use hydrogen peroxide and kerosene as propellants. The RLV would be fully reusable and would operate autonomously under control of on-board computers, with no ground control during nominal flight conditions. The RLV would launch vertically from a concrete pad and would land vertically in an area near the launch pad.

Blue Origin intends to perform unmanned RLV developmental test flights from the proposed facility beginning in the third quarter of 2006. Once the technology has been thoroughly tested, Blue Origin would begin passenger flight service using the RLV at a maximum rate of 52 launches per year. The RLV would carry three or more passengers per operation.

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