Blue Origin released a video detailing the rocket's specs. SpaceX was able to land orbital rockets while Blue Origin still mainly has sub-orbital ones. Bezos has said he has poured more than $500 million of his own money into it - but has received relatively little outside revenue. Blue Origin is developing the engine to end US use on the Russian-made RD-180 engines. Test flights with crew members aboard are expected to begin this year. "Their solid engineering approach. corresponds to what we expect from our industrial partners". The United Launch Alliance (ULA) also plans to use the BE-4 in a new rocket the company is building called the Vulcan.
The BE-4 won't just power Blue Origin rockets. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimated in 2003 that up to 82 percent of Americans had flown in an airplane, and Bezos wants going to space to become as common as hopping on a flight from one city to another.
The deal represents a linkup between competitors to SpaceX and its billionaire founder, Elon Musk, on separate fronts: Blue Origin has vied with SpaceX over access to launch facilities, while OneWeb's proposed network is competitive with SpaceX's plans for a 4,425-satellite constellation that's also aimed at providing global internet access.More news: Cuomo Announces NY-Israel Commission On Unity Trip Overseas
As SpaceX has shown new rocketry is hard and landing on a floating barge is doubly so. Bezos, undoubtedly excited by this huge development, tweeted out a couple of pictures recently of the finished engine, adding that more fully assembled BE-4s would soon be ready for unveiling. He says he's confident that small, incremental progress will help Blue Origin prosper in the long run. The Amazon.com founder sees applying that intensity toward making space travel more like hopping on an airplane. Today CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the company signed a contract with France-based TV provider Eutelsat to put a satellite in geostationary orbit sometime between 2021-2022.
Tentative steps these may be (or in Blue Origin's case, animated steps), but it's still pretty awesome to even be talking about potential space tourism.
"In including New Glenn in our manifest, we are pursuing our longstanding strategy of innovation that drives down the cost of access to space and drives up performance", Belmer said in a statement. The New Glenn will be a reusable vehicle with majority of its parts capable of landing after launch. "This can only be good news for the profitability and sustainability of our industry". As a result, ULA made a decision to build a completely new rocket that would use a new type of engine developed by Blue Origin.