Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin rocket company just scored a major contract. His company's BE-4 engines will power United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur, a new suite of rockets that will aim to better compete [spaceflightnow.com] with Elon Musk's SpaceX on price. Its first launch is slated for 2020. The contract award with ULA marks a high-profile vote of confidence for Bezos's space startup.
"We are very glad to have our BE-4 engine selected by United Launch Alliance. 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 CEO Bob Smith said in a statement announcing the award on Thursday.
[...] Blue Origin's win does not come as a huge surprise. The BE-4 is further along in development [cnn.com] than the comparable Aerojet engine, dubbed the AR1, and is expected to be less expensive to make. [ULA CEO Tory] Bruno previously expressed his preference for Blue's BE-4 over Aerojet's AR1.
Also at Ars Technica [arstechnica.com].
Related: Blue Origin Will Build its Rocket Engine in Alabama [soylentnews.org]
NASA Opens Door to Possibly Lowering SLS Cost Using Blue Origin's Engines [soylentnews.org]
Aerojet Rocketdyne Seeks More U.S. Air Force Funding for AR1 Rocket Engine [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX BFR vs. ULA Vulcan Showdown in the 2020s [soylentnews.org]
Blue Origin to Compete to Launch U.S. Military Payloads [soylentnews.org]