A BE-4 engine on the move. Photo Credit: Jeff Bezos / Blue Origin

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced yesterday via Twitter that his space company Blue Origin has made a successful test of its new rocket engine BE-4.


Blue Origin has developed BE-4 for five years and the idea is that several of these engines will ensure that Blue Origins upcoming rocket New Glenn as well as United Launch Alliance’s upcoming rocket Vulcan will be able to reach space.

The New Glenn (a 7-meter-diameter (23 ft), two- or three-stage rocket) will have seven BE-4 engines with a total lifting capacity of just over 17 tonnes. Like the New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle that preceded it, the New Glenn’s first stage is designed to be reusable. Harnessing the same vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technique once pioneered by NASA and now regularly seen used by SpaceX rockets.

The first New Glenn rocket is scheduled to leave the ground 2020 and it will initially be used to shuttle satellites into space. United Launch Alliance aims to have its first Vulcan rocket in space by 2019. You can check yesterday’s test of the BE-4 engine below.