Published: Sat, September 29, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Jeff Bezos' space company set to launch

Jeff Bezos' space company set to launch

Bezos is funneling $1 billion of his own fortune annually into Blue Origin as it scrambles to fly its own heavy-lift launch vehicle, dubbed New Glenn, in 2020.

United Launch Alliance is building a new rocket, and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is going to build the engine for it. We are very honored that United Launch Alliance has selected Blue Origin's LOX/LNG BE-4 as the engine that will power the first stage of their Vulcan rocket. ULA is a joint venture between Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. that launches USA military and spy satellites into orbit. It said new rocket design is nearing completion, with booster preliminary design and critical design reviews already complete.

United Launch Alliance is the premier launch service provider for national security missions, and we're thrilled to be part of their team and that mission.

Blue Origin has outlined plans to build a spaceship and lunar lander capable of delivering cargo to the moon, perhaps to support colonies there.

The deal marks a significant partnership between the stalwarts in the national security launch business and Blue Origin, the upstart rocket company founded by Amazon.com chief Jeffrey P. Bezos. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled booster will be powered by a pair of BE-4 engines, each producing 550,000 pounds of sea level thrust.

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"It's performing quite well", Blue Origin Chief Executive Bob Smith said of BE-4 on a September 11 panel at the World Satellite Business Week in Paris.

The Vulcan Centaur is now in the design phase, with the booster preliminary design and critical design reviews completed.

Wall Street Journal writers Andy Pasztor and Doug Cameron reported that Blue Origin planned to announce the contract on Thursday, September 27. This deal ensures it to become a player in the market for various USA military satellite launch contracts. "[Blue Origin] plans to use the same engines to power its own heavy-lift launcher, called New Glenn, which is now under development".

ULA President Tory Bruno said "Our new rocket will be superior in reliability, cost and capability - one system for all missions". ULA and Blue Origin announced a partnership four years ago, but the competition with Aerojet Rocketdyne has taken this long to reach its conclusion. "We need a space-faring civilization", Bezos said in 2017.

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