Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture says it’s targeting the fourth quarter of 2022 for the first flight of its orbital-class New Glenn rocket — which marks a major schedule shift.
The company had previously planned to conduct its first New Glenn launch from Florida by the end of this year, although it was becoming increasingly clear that timeline wouldn’t hold.
In a blog posting, Blue Origin said its team “has been in contact with all of our customers to ensure this baseline meets their launch needs.”
Blue Origin noted that the updated timeline follows the U.S. Space Force to stop its support for the New Glenn development effort as part of its procurement program for national security launches. That support, which could have added up to $500 million, was closed out at the end of last year.
The Space Force ended up choosing United Launch Alliance and SpaceX for the next round of national security launches. Jarrett Jones, Blue Origin’s senior vice president for New Glenn, told Space News that losing out on that round of launch contracts represented a $3 billion hit to anticipated revenue, and forced the company to “re-baseline” its development plans.