First images of Blue Origin’s “Project Jarvis” test tank
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First images of Blue Origin’s “Project Jarvis” test tank

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On Tuesday, Blue Origin used a modular transport to roll its first stainless steel test tank to Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This tank is part of the company’s efforts—under the codename “Project Jarvis”—to develop a fully reusable upper stage for Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket.

Ars revealed the existence of this effort last month, and we are now publishing the first photos of the tank prototype. A source at Blue Origin said this tank could start to undergo a series of tests to determine its strength and ability to hold pressurized propellants as soon as next month.

Although Blue Origin has not publicly discussed this effort to build a reusable upper stage for the New Glenn rocket, sources said the company’s primary goal is to bring down the overall launch cost of the New Glenn rocket. The vehicle’s large upper stage, which has a 7-meter diameter and two BE-3U engines, is costly. Making New Glenn fully reusable is necessary for Blue Origin to compete with SpaceX’s Starship launch system.

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