SpaceX vs Blue Origin

And which is better


“Blue Origin New Shepard NS-10 Landed Booster” by NASA Flight Opportunities is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

By: Jason Reznikov, Journalist

SpaceX vs Blue Origin. Elon Musk vs Jeff Bezos. The billionaire space race that has been taking place for about 20 years has finally hit mainstream media as new innovations and promises take the world by storm. On one side of the aisle, there is Blue Origin. Founded by Jeff Bezos on November 8, 2000, Blue Origin had a slow start. Recently, however, they started launching their rockets into space, carrying passengers for the first time. SpaceX, on the other hand, is a much more well-known company. Founded on March 14, 2002, by Elon Musk, SpaceX has accomplished significantly more in a slightly shorter amount of time. Both of these companies are similar, however, they have very different plans for the future.

The Similarities

“Blue Origin New Glen Launch” by Kevin M. Gill is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Copy text

To most people, SpaceX and Blue Origin are significantly distinct from one another. This idea is actually not as true as it may seem, as both of these companies have similar beginnings and similar milestones. First off, both of these companies were started by billionaires in the early 2000s. Both of the companies have the goal of getting regulars humans to other planets in large numbers, almost like inter-planetary colonization. Both of these companies also want to be able to fully reuse the boosters on their rockets. A good example of this is how SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket can both land their boosters back on Earth before being cleaned and reused. However, past this point, the two company’s similarities end.

The Differences

While both SpaceX and Blue Origin want to colonize other planets, their methods of doing so and the planets they want to colonize are entirely different. While SpaceX plans on using it’s brand new Starship rocket to land the first humans to colonize Mars, Blue Origin has slightly different plans. They want to build a rocket known as New Glenn to send humans and cargo to the Moon, using it as a factory and production planet for Earth and simply ship products through space back to Earth again. Even though both of these companies were started around the same time, however, SpaceX is much farther along in it’s goal. SpaceX has already built several innovative, reusable rockets that have made thousands of successful missions over the last few years. Blue Origin, on the other hand, has only just launched it’s first rocket. This rocket, the New Shepard, was a very small rocket designed to take a few people into space for a short amount of time and land back on Earth with it’s booster landing itself. SpaceX has been making fast progress, as it has already built half of a functioning Starship and are working on building a working booster. It is expected to launch by about 2024-2026. Blue Origin has been making little progress on their New Glenn Rocket, as they haven’t even started construction of any prototype at all. So, all in all, it appears that the billionaire space race is being easily won by SpaceX, but don’t out Blue Origin just yet. With several delays on the large Starship rocket, Blue Origin might just catch up.


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