Patents Assigned to Blue Origin, LLC
  • Patent number: 11174966
    Abstract: Fluid damped check valves are described herein. A representative check valve includes a piston assembly movably positioned within a housing. The housing can include a flow chamber, a damping chamber containing a damping fluid, and a leak chamber fluidly coupled between the flow chamber and the damping chamber. The piston assembly can include a poppet positioned in the flow chamber, and a flange positioned in the damping chamber. In operation, the piston assembly is movable between (i) a closed position in which the poppet sealingly engages the housing to at least inhibit fluid flow through the flow chamber and (ii) an open position in which the poppet disengages from the housing and permits fluid flow through the flow chamber. When the piston assembly moves between the open and closed positions, the flange moves through the damping fluid in the damping chamber to slow the movement of the poppet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Justin K. Bahrami, Kyle J. Meeuwsen
  • Patent number: 11174818
    Abstract: A high temperature thermal protection systems for rockets, and associated methods, is disclosed. A representative system includes a launch vehicle having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end. The launch vehicle is elongated along a vehicle axis extending between the first and second ends and carries a propulsion system having at least one nozzle positioned at the second end of the launch vehicle. A thermal protection apparatus positioned around the nozzle is used to provide cooling and/or insulation to the nozzle during the flight of the launch vehicle. The thermal protection apparatus can include multiple fabric layers and an insulation layer stacked and stitched together. The fabric layers can include metal alloy fibers. In representative systems, the thermal protection apparatus can further include provisions for water that saturates the insulation layer to provide further insulating and/or cooling effects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: BLUE ORIGIN, LLC
    Inventors: Adam Keith Norman, John Paul Brendel, Christopher Patrick Hupf, Stefano Gulli
  • Patent number: 10822122
    Abstract: Methods and systems for vertically landing space vehicles are described herein. In one embodiment, a reusable space vehicle lands in a vertical, nose-up orientation by engaging a system of cables suspended from an elevated framework during a controlled descent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2020
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Douglas Lewis Grose, Sean Robert Findlay, John Michael Sanders
  • Patent number: 10518911
    Abstract: Vehicles with control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing. Launch vehicles with fixed and deployable deceleration surfaces and associated systems and methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Featherstone, Frederick W. Boelitz, Roger E. Ramsey, David M. Biggs
  • Patent number: 10266282
    Abstract: Launch vehicles with ring-shaped external elements, and associated systems and methods. An aerospace system in accordance with a particular embodiment includes a launch vehicle having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end, with the launch vehicle being elongated along a vehicle axis extending between the first and second ends, and having an external, outwardly facing surface. The system can further include an annular element carried by the launch vehicle, the annular element having an external, inwardly-facing surface radially spaced apart from, and extending at least partially circumferentially around, the vehicle axis. The annular element can have a first edge surface facing a first direction along the vehicle axis, and a second edge surface facing a second direction along the vehicle axis, the second direction being opposite the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Featherstone, John Michael Sanders, Roger E. Ramsey, Eric David Wetzel
  • Patent number: 9580191
    Abstract: Vehicles with control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing. Launch vehicles with fixed and deployable deceleration surfaces and associated systems and methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Featherstone, Frederick W. Boelitz, Roger E. Ramsey, David M. Biggs
  • Patent number: 9487308
    Abstract: Launch vehicles with ring-shaped external elements, and associated systems and methods. A representative aerospace system includes a launch vehicle having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end, with the launch vehicle being elongated along a vehicle axis extending between the first and second ends, and having an external, outwardly facing surface. The system can further include an annular element carried by the launch vehicle, the annular element having an external, inwardly-facing surface radially spaced apart from, and extending at least partially circumferentially around, the vehicle axis. The annular element can have a first edge surface facing a first direction along the vehicle axis, and a second edge surface facing a second direction along the vehicle axis, the second direction being opposite the first direction. A propulsion system can be carried by the launch vehicle, and can have at least one nozzle positioned toward the first end of the vehicle to launch the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Featherstone, John Michael Sanders, Roger E. Ramsey, Eric David Wetzel
  • Patent number: 9469418
    Abstract: Composite structures for space vehicles and other aerospace vehicles are disclosed herein. In one embodiment of the disclosure, a space vehicle pressure vessel includes composite panels or sidewalls with septumized core. In another embodiment, a splice joint for joining septumized composite panels in space vehicle structures is disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Emmanuel Grillos, Dennis Arthur Trimble, Douglas Lewis Grose
  • Patent number: 9217389
    Abstract: Rocket turbopump valves and associated system and methods. A valve in accordance with at least one embodiment includes a housing having a valve aperture, and first and second valve elements positioned in the housing and movable relative to the valve aperture between a closed position and an open position. Each valve element can be pivotably connected to the housing toward a first end and supported by the other valve element toward a second end. A drive mechanism is coupled to the first and second valve elements to pivot the valve elements toward and away from their open and closed positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Gerald A. Lee, Michael C. Krene
  • Patent number: 9079674
    Abstract: Composite structures for space vehicles and other aerospace vehicles are disclosed herein. In one embodiment of the disclosure, a space vehicle pressure vessel includes composite panels or sidewalls with septumized core. In another embodiment, a splice joint for joining septumized composite panels in space vehicle structures is disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Emmanuel Grillos, Dennis Arthur Trimble, Douglas Lewis Grose
  • Patent number: 8991767
    Abstract: Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventor: Mark Featherstone
  • Patent number: 8894016
    Abstract: Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventor: Mark Featherstone
  • Patent number: 8878111
    Abstract: Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventor: Mark Featherstone
  • Patent number: 8876059
    Abstract: Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventor: Mark Featherstone
  • Publication number: 20140312163
    Abstract: Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 11, 2013
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Applicant: BLUE ORIGIN, LLC
    Inventor: Mark Featherstone
  • Publication number: 20140263841
    Abstract: Launch vehicles with ring-shaped external elements, and associated systems and methods are disclosed. An aerospace system in accordance with a particular embodiment includes a launch vehicle having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end, with the launch vehicle being elongated along a vehicle axis extending between the first and second ends, and having an external, outwardly facing surface. The system can further include an annular element carried by the launch vehicle, the annular element having an external, inwardly-facing surface radially spaced apart from, and extending at least partially circumferentially around, the vehicle axis. The annular element can have a first edge surface facing a first direction along the vehicle axis, and a second edge surface facing a second direction along the vehicle axis, the second direction being opposite the first direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Featherstone, John Michael Sanders, Roger E. Ramsey, Eric David Wetzel
  • Patent number: 8729442
    Abstract: Technology for predicting and correcting a trajectory is described. The technology can create a model to predict a position of the reusable launch vehicle at a time in the future; observe a wind condition during ascent of the reusable launch vehicle; store the observed wind condition in a wind map; predict during ascent a position and a terminal lateral velocity of the reusable launch vehicle at a terminal altitude; and correct a flight trajectory of the reusable launch vehicle based on the wind map.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Frederick W. Boelitz, Mark O. Hilstad
  • Patent number: 8720067
    Abstract: A contoured roller set and associated systems and methods are disclosed herein. A male roller having a convex surface and a pair of female rollers each having a concave surface can receive a generally thin sheet of material and impart a doubly-curved shape to the sheet. The convex and concave surfaces of the male and female rollers can have a radius of curvature chosen to match a radius of curvature of the sheet of material. The rollers are positioned and shaped to urge the sheet between the female rollers to cause the sheet to curve toward the male roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventor: Christopher M. Gil
  • Patent number: 8678321
    Abstract: Launch vehicle systems and methods for landing and recovering a booster stage and/or other portions thereof on a platform at sea or on another body of water are disclosed. In one embodiment, a reusable space launch vehicle is launched from a coastal launch site in a trajectory over water. After booster engine cutoff and upper stage separation, the booster stage reenters the earth's atmosphere in a tail-first orientation. The booster engines are then restarted and the booster stage performs a vertical powered landing on the deck of a pre-positioned sea-going platform. In one embodiment, bidirectional aerodynamic control surfaces control the trajectory of the booster stage as it glides through the earth's atmosphere toward the sea-going platform. The sea-going platform can broadcast its real-time position to the booster stage so that the booster stage can compensate for errors in the position of the sea-going platform due to current drift and/or other factors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Blue Origin, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey P. Bezos, Gary Lai, Sean R. Findlay
  • Publication number: 20140042267
    Abstract: Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Publication date: February 13, 2014
    Applicant: BLUE ORIGIN, LLC
    Inventor: Mark Featherstone