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Report: Bezos’ Blue Origin lands rocket engine contract from Lockheed, Boeing joint venture

A joint venture of Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) and Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has tapped Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to provide engines for a new rocket, The Wall Street Journal reports.

United Launch Alliance LLC is expected to announce Thursday that it will use Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine for the Vulcan rocket. The WSJ calls this a “potentially multibillion-dollar agreement,” with an initial launch of the Vulcan scheduled for 2020, though that could be pushed back to the middle of the decade.

Blue Origin plans to use the same BE-4 engine for its New Glenn rocket, which it claims will “carry people and payloads routinely to Earth orbit” through a “fully reusable first stage.” The BE-4 is a liquid oxygen, liquefied natural gas engine that theoretically generates 3.85 million pounds of thrust.

The Blue Origin engines are expected to replace the Russian-built propulsion that ULA currently uses in its Atlas V rockets, a priority for the Pentagon, the WSJ reports.

In…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.



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