COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — For years, there’s been a big question surrounding the next-generation BE-4 rocket engine that’s being built by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture: Will it be good enough for United Launch Alliance, a crucial prospective customer?
Now Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith says the BE-4 has passed all of the technical tests required for ULA to sign onto a production contract.
“We’ve met the technical and performance requirements that they’re looking for,” Smith told GeekWire today during a one-on-one interview at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. “And so we’re just working through how do we actually get to a production deal. We’re working through terms and conditions, termination liability, all of the things you’d want within a contractual structure.”
Smith said there’s been good interaction with ULA on the technical side of the BE-4 test-firing process. “At this point, we think it’s just, how do we get to the commercial production deal?” he said.