Blue Origin’s Project Jarvis Begins New Fuel Tank Tests at Cape Canaveral3rd Sep 2021
Blue Origin’s Project Jarvis stainless steel fuel tanks have arrived at the company’s Launch Complex 36 in Cape Canaveral on 24th August. Blue Origin’s test tank is part of the company’s goal to make the upper-stage of its New Glenn rocket fully reusable and compete with SpaceX’s Starship. Notably, the test tanks are made of stainless steel, just like SpaceX’s tanks. However, only further Blue Origin’s Project Jarvis tests can show if Blue can mimic the competitor’s technology.
Blue Origin’s Project Jarvis Goals & Current Progress
While the company does not publicly discuss the end goals behind Blue Origin’s Project Jarvis, sources believe that making New Glenn’s upper-stage fully reusable is the primary objective. If Blue succeeds, upper-stage reusability will seriously reduce the launch cost, allowing the company to compete with SpaceX in the launch market.
The latest Blue Origin’s test tank project aims to create a tank sturdy enough to withstand multiple launches and re-entries. Right now, the company engineers are studying the use of stainless steel for those tanks — just like SpaceX does with its boosters and upper stage. The benefit of this approach is that stainless steel can withstand the heating on re-entry. The downside is that it is five times heavier than composite materials.
What’s Going On Besides Blue Origin’s Test Tank?
Blue Origin’s test tank project is not everything it takes to make the New Glenn rocket fully reusable. The company will also need to develop an updated design for the rocket’s second-stage and re-entry vehicle. Once again, Blue does not officially comment on the developments, but back in 2016, the company founder stated that this design would come either with parachutes or wings. So, it looks like Blue Origin’s Project Jarvis is not the only thing the aerospace company has on its plate right now.