Unlike some of its fellow NewSpace companies, Blue Origin keeps a very low, even secretive profile about its activities. The company, founded and funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, has gained a reputation for saying very little about what it’s up to. ““We like to talk about things after we’ve done them, and not before that, and hopefully you’ll be hearing a lot from us in the future,” Brett Alexander, director of business development and strategy at the company, said at a human spaceflight symposium in October at the US Naval Academy.
And, earlier this week, we did hear a little more from Blue Origin. The company held a rare teleconference with reporters tied to a press release—itself a rare event—about the latest tests of the company’s BE-3 engine. The engine, which uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants, will power the company’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle and, eventually, the upper stage of a planned orbital launch vehicle.