Blue Origin is headed toward commercial operation as the rocket firm established by Jeff Bezos closes the end of testing for its big projects. The BE-4 engine of the company, the thunderous staple of the propulsion business of Blue Origin has demonstrated that it works well.
Blue Origin lately test fired the BE-4 engine for at least 2 minutes at approximately three-quarters of complete power. That test demonstrated the durability of the engine and how the design for reusability is settling.
According to Smith, it’s the main reason why they have spent most of their time developing it, more than seven years developing the engine to make it reusable. The engine will perform one hundred starts – 100 full missions that they’d be able to do.
BE-4 is made for the coming New Glenn rocket of Blue Origin. Smith claimed that the predecessor of the engine was made with the same type of principles of BE-3. The BE-3 engine powers the New Shepard rocket that takes off landed and deployed an unmanned capsule in December. The smaller New Shepard rocket was takeoff five times without getting rid of the BE-3 engine.
Blue Origin obtained $3.7 million from NASA under the initial phase of the Commercial Crew Deployment last 2010. They use the money for a takeoff abort system and composite pressure vessels. Blue Origin has submitted a plan for New Shepard as well to fly research payloads under the Flight Opportunities Program of NASA.
The New Shepard rocket underwent a few iterations over the past year. The initial flight of New Shepard 1 happened on April 21, 2015. While the first flight was a huge success, the rocket failed to land as intended because of losing pressure in the hydraulic system.
On the other hand, the other rocket version, New Shepard 2 made the soft-booster landing last November 23, 2015. Its capsule landed magnificently on that flight. Blue Origin reused the booster for the first time the last 22nd of January 2016.
Blue Origin tend not to bring passengers into orbit before late 2018, but the company released information of the flight path. If passengers flights occur, New Shepard will take off vertically for at least two and a half minutes prior the main engine cut-off. The name New Shepard was after the Mercury program astronaut of NASA Alan Shepard who was the first American to travel in the galaxy in 1961.