Commercial Crew Announcement Tuesday? Blue Origin Turns to the Dark Side?

Make of this what you will. Two late breaking stories suggest major changes may be afoot.

First: The Wall Street Journal’s Andy Pasztor reports that Blue Origin is scheduled to participate in an event at the National Press Club on Wednesday, where a major engine initiative involving Blue Origin, Boeing and Lockheed Martin will be announced.

Image Credit: Star Wars

Image Credit: Star Wars

Given Blue’s letter of support from United Launch Alliance in the scuffle over NASA KSC’s pad 39A, it is a development which perhaps should not be all that surprising, even if it is supremely disappointing to NewSpace advocates hoping to see Blue rise up as an equally unconventional rival to SpaceX.

It is a rivalry grown increasingly bitter, but one offering undeniable moments of humor such as Elon Musk’s sardonic “unicorns dancing in the flame ducts” response to the idea that Blue Origin could have a vehicle ready to use the historic NASA pad by 2018,

Take it with a grain of salt.  Pasztor’s reporting where SpaceX is concerned had been biased to say the least, and it is no different in the current story:

“But now, with Boeing slated to take the lead building and testing crew capsules for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Blue Origin is bound to attract at least some of the spotlight.”

“Slated to take the lead?” Really? Did we miss something?

Perhaps.  NASAWatch reports from inside sources that a decision in NASA’s Commercial Crew program could come down on Tuesday.

It seems highly unlikely that as the WSJ piece suggests, NASA would make a Commercial Crew decision based on a speculative new engine with no flight experience, backed up by a “preliminary announcement” regarding a new engine development program to be introduced the next day.

Perhaps making a bit more sense, other reports from long time space observer Charles Lurio suggest that observers have seen posters touting SpaceX and Blue Origin as CCtCap winners, and not Boeing. In a way that makes sense in light of the NPC event. Boeing, looking for a way to strike back. Just like…….

Much more to come…



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1 Comment on "Commercial Crew Announcement Tuesday? Blue Origin Turns to the Dark Side?"

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  1. Zed_WEASEL says:

    Could it be that SpaceX get full commercial crew funding with Sierra Nevada getting un-funded space act agreements to continue their vehicle along with Blue Origin’s liquid hydrogen engine to replace the venerable RL-10 engine.

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