Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin Photograph:( AFP )
The postponement comes after Space Force did not select New Glenn for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Services Procurement, the company said in a blog
Billionaire Jeff Bezos-backed space venture Blue Origin said that it has delayed the launch of its heavy-lift New Glenn rocket to the fourth quarter of next year.
The postponement comes after Space Force did not select New Glenn for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Services Procurement, the company said in a blog.
Freed from his daily obligations at Amazon.com Inc, Jeff Bezos is expected to turn up the heat on his space venture, Blue Origin, as it faces a pivotal year and fierce competition from Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Blue Origin has lost out to the rival after SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) were awarded billions of dollars' worth of US national security launch contracts which begin in 2022. ULA is a joint venture of Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp.
Now, Blue Origin is battling to win a competition with SpaceX and Dynetics to develop a new lunar lander for NASA’s potentially multibillion-dollar push to return humans to the moon in a few years. Dynetics is owned by Leidos Holdings Inc.
Winning the lunar lander contract - and executing its development - are seen by Bezos and other executives as vital to Blue Origin establishing itself as a desired partner for NASA, and also putting Blue on the road to turning a profit.
Meanwhile, SpaceX on Sunday (Eastern time) delayed the launch of Falcon 9 carrier rocket.
The launch has been delayed by a day. Falcon 9 will take 60 Starlink satellites into orbit around the Earth after its lift-off that will now be attempted on March 1. As per Indian time, the launch will take place on Tuesday, March 2. The launch will take place from Cape Canaveral (Kennedy) Air Force Station in Florida.
"Auto-abort at T-1:24 ahead of tonight's Falcon 9 launch of Starlink; next launch opportunity is tomorrow, March 1 at 8:15 p.m. EST," tweeted SpaceX as it delayed the launch.