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Orbital ATK discloses details of rocket it’s developing with Air Force assist

A Blue Origin BE-3 engine on the test stand in Van Horn, Texas. Credit: Blue Origin
A Blue Origin BE-3 engine on the test stand in Van Horn, Texas. Credit: Blue Origin
A Blue Origin BE-3 engine on the test stand in Van Horn, Texas. Credit: Blue Origin

Orbital ATK has disclosed new details about its proposed EELV-class launch vehicle.

The Next Generation Launcher will use solid motors based on those used by the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters in its lower stages, and an upper stage powered by Blue Origin’s BE-3U liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engine, a company official said Tuesday at the Space Congress conference in Florida.

The rocket would launch initially from a refurbished shuttle pad at the Kennedy Space Center.

Orbital received a contract from the Air Force earlier this year to support development, although a final decision on whether to pursue the vehicle is not expected until the middle of next year. [Reuters]


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Orbital ATK discloses details of rocket it’s developing with Air Force assist

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