Skip to Content

Jeff Bezos has just bagged a massive rocket engine deal

September 28, 2018

The Amazon founder’s space transportation company Blue Origin has won a potentially multibillion-dollar deal to provide engines to a rival rocket firm.

The news: After a lengthy competition, Blue Origin has won a contract with United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Blue Origin’s BE-4 engines will power a new range of rockets, called Vulcan Centaur. The first flight is scheduled for mid-2020.

The significance? This contract boosts Blue Origin’s goal of eventually becoming a major launch provider itself. It will help it to enter the lucrative market for Pentagon satellite launches, making it more of a competitor to SpaceX.

An expensive goal: Blue Origin is financing and developing the engine almost entirely with its own funds. Bezos invests roughly $1 billion of his personal fortune into the company every year.

Deep Dive


How the James Webb Space Telescope broke the universe

Scientists were in awe of the flood of data that arrived when the new space observatory booted up.

NASA’s return to the moon is off to a rocky start

Artemis aims to deliver astronauts back to the lunar surface by 2025, but it’s riding on an old congressional pet project.

James Webb Space Telescope: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

A marvel of precision engineering, JWST could revolutionize our view of the early universe.

What’s next in space

The moon, private space travel, and the wider solar system will all have major missions over the next 12 months.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.