Blue Origin’s Bezos to replace Russian engines on American rockets

“We are delighted to enter into partnership with Blue Origin and look forward to a successful first flight of our rocket next generation,” — said on this occasion, the President of ULA Tory Bruno. Head of Blue Origin, Bob Smith thanked ULA for the selection. “United Launch Alliance is the first service provider to launch rockets for national security purposes, and we are excited to be part of this team and this mission,” he said.

A few years ago, all launched in the United States the missiles were supplied with engines built under government contracts or purchased in Russia (RD-180). Private company SpaceX billionaire Elon musk has changed the operating model, creating their own Merlin engine. Nine such engines are used to launch the Falcon 9.

Billionaire Bezos created the company Blue Origin in 2000. For project funding every year he sells the shares owned pack Amazon for $1 billion. “My business model right now for Blue Origin is selling about a billion a year, Amazon’s stock, and these tools I use for the funding of Blue Origin,” said billionaire in 2017.

Blue Origin Безоса заменит российские двигатели на американских ракетах

While the company conducts a test launches of suborbital rocket New Shepard, which will be used for space tourism.

In 2011, Blue Origin began to develop the engine BE-4. Last year it conducted test firing on the stand.

The choice of engine for the upper stage ULA lasted four years. As a result, the company Bezos has outstripped the main competitor — longstanding supplier of rocket engines for NASA — Aerojet Rocketdyne. The company already supplies engines existing ULA rocket. Its RL10 engine was chosen by the company for ULA upper stage of the rocket to Vulcan. But developed for the upper stage engine AR1, according to CNN, will be much more expensive to produce than analog company Blue Origin.

For the company Blue Origin to win the tender to supply the engine for the ULA allows you to open a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama, which will employ 400 people. The new engine BE-4 is also intended to equip heavy booster New Glenn, who will compete with SpaceX and Northrop Grumman on the market for rocket launches in the interests of the Pentagon.

The ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Today ULA to compete with SpaceX’s Elon musk to launch military and intelligence satellites of the United States. But today, the company is forced to buy Russian RD-180 engines for the equipment of the carrier rocket Atlas V, kotoruya Americans used for launching military spacecraft.

Rocket engines RD-180 exports to the United States, Russian NPO “Energomash”. Each RD-180 cost $30 million First contract for the supply of 101 RD-180 engine in the amount of $1 billion was signed in 1997. In 2014, the wave of anti-Russian sanctions adopted by the U.S. Congress banned the use of these engines, but almost immediately ruled out the supply of Russian rocket engines from the effect of sanctions. However, the Director of NASA gin Breidenstein noted that “the United States are working hard to stop being dependent on the RD-180”.

In December 2015, the NGO “Energomash” has signed with the United States an additional supply agreement the Pentagon 20 more RD-180 engines. In 2016, the US ordered Russia has 18 of these engines. In 2018 Energomash announced a new contract to supply six RD-180 in the United States in 2020.

Jeff Bezos — head of the Internet company Amazon.com the founder of aerospace company Blue Origin and owner of the newspaper The Washington Post. In 2017 he first entered the top three leaders in the rating of the richest people in the world by Forbes with a fortune of $72,8 billion In 2018 he first became the richest man in the world. His condition is currently $165 billion.

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