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.