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Blue Origin delivers the engines for first Vulcan rocket

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture says it has completed delivery of the two BE-4 rocket engines that will be used next year for the first launch of United Launch Alliance’s next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket.

The delivery to ULA’s factory in Alabama comes two years later than the schedule called for when ULA chose Blue Origin as the engine supplier for the Vulcan first-stage booster in 2018.

In a tweet, United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno said one of the engines has already been placed on the booster, and the other one “will join it momentarily.”

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said he’s “excited to see ULA’s Vulcan fly.”

“The BE-4 is a great engine, and we’re proud of Team Blue for achieving this milestone as part of ULA’s team,” Smith said in a news release. “It’s been a wonderful partnership, and this shipset is the first of many more to come.”

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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