Blue Origin BE-4 Engine, Credit: Wikimedia
Blue Origin has successfully conducted a hotfire test of its BE-4 engine. The BE-4 is the power source for Blue Origin’s massive New Glenn launcher with seven BE-4 engines powering the first stage and a single BE-4 powering the second stage.
The New Glenn will be capable of launching up to 45 tons of payload to low earth orbit (LEO) and 13 tons of payload to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The first launch of the New Glenn is expected in 2020.
The BE-4 is also being considered as a power source for United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) next generation launch vehicle the Vulcan. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR 1 engine is also being considered by ULA to power the Vulcan.
According to a report by NASA, the BE-4 has a two year development lead over the AR 1.
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