Jeff Bezos' next rocket is a massive, reusable booster

Blue Origin's New Glenn should launch before 2020.

Jeff Bezos isn't about to let SpaceX have the private heavy-duty rocket field to itself. Blue Origin has introduced New Glenn (named after astronaut John Glenn), a massive reusable booster rocket that makes SpaceX's Falcon Heavy look modest. The two-stage model already dwarfs the Falcon at 270 feet tall, while the three-stage version is nearly as tall as the legendary Saturn V at 313 feet. Yes, it's more than a little Freudian, but it'll be helpful getting both satellites and people into space.

There is a good reason for that oddly suggestive size, though. New Glenn will lift off with 3.85 million pounds of thrust. That's not as powerful as Falcon Heavy's 5.1 million, but it's contained within a single structure (SpaceX uses three Falcon 9 rockets at its core). Blue Origin probably won't be first to the launchpad, though. While SpaceX has had to push back Falcon Heavy more than once, Bezos and crew are only promising that New Glenn will blast off from Cape Canaveral before the decade is out. At least there's more coming: the company is teasing a New Armstrong rocket sometime in the future.