Billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos announced this morning (Sept. 12) a massive new reusable rocket family in development for his private spaceflight company Blue Origin. The rocket, called New Glenn, will be used to launch satellites and people into space, according to Bezos.
In a newsletter from Blue Origin, Bezos unveiled an artist's concept of two- and three-stage versions of the New Glenn rocket. Both will stand taller than SpaceX's Falcon Heavy and United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy, and the three-stage approaches the stature of NASA's Saturn V that boosted humans to the moon. - Space.com
This is a very big launcher. With seven BE-4 engines (550,000 lbs. thrust each), it will be capable of 3.85 million pounds of thrust. Payloads have not been announced as of this writing. The Saturn V was slightly taller, and had thrust of 7,891,000 lbf (35,100 kN) sea level and LEO payloads of 310,000 lbs. Newer technology may make the New Glenn's structure somewhat lighter in weight than Saturn V, so it's hard to make any solid prediction without more data. The design is for a reusable first stage capable of 25 flights, which further complicates predictions due to the fuel required, additional hardware for return and landing, etc. - GB