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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday February 20 2018, @05:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-am-altering-the-deal... dept.

Aerojet Rocketdyne wants the U.S. Air Force to contribute more funding for the development of its AR1 rocket engine. But that may be a hard sell when the mostly privately funded BE-4 from Blue Origin is close to being ready to fly:

In recent years, Aerojet has sought funding from the US Air Force to design and build the AR1, which has approximately 20 percent more thrust than a space shuttle main engine. The Air Force, in turn, has pledged as much as $536 million in development costs provided that Aerojet puts its own skin in the game—about one-third of research and development expenses.

According to a new report in Space News, Aerojet is now saying that even this modest investment is too much, and the company is seeking to reduce its share of the development costs from one-third to one-sixth. "As we look to the next phase of this contract, we are working with the Air Force on a smart and equitable cost-share," Aerojet spokesman Steve Warren told the publication. "We are committed to delivering an engine in 2019."

According to the report, the Air Force is not inclined to renegotiate the agreement. The Air Force's hesitation to increase its investment is probably because the military may not really need the AR1 rocket engine any more due to the emergence of Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Related: Blue Origin Will Build its Rocket Engine in Alabama
NASA Opens Door to Possibly Lowering SLS Cost Using Blue Origin's Engines
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @12:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @12:35AM (#640957)

    and having had family who worked there, they have not been a worthwhile company in almost 40 years.

    The area surrounding their test sites are one of the few no-development zones in the area, thanks to toxic waste (McClellan is the other big one, but the military was able to punt that to private industry by selling it off, despite being what should've been considered a historic base given both its capabilities, service record, and firsts.)

    The current hot mess of Aerojet+Rocketdyne deserves to die given it's mediocre performance since the APOLLO missions.