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Jeff Bezos' Rocket Company Suffers Fiery Failure in Space Race with Elon Musk

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The engine of a rocket developed by the company Jeff Bezos has created exploded last month.

A BE-4 rocket developed by Blue Origin blew up about 10 seconds into a June 30 test, according to CNBC.

The report said the blast destroyed the engine and damaged the test stand.

Blue Origin is working with United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for military contracts. The BE-4 engine would power the Vulcan rocket.

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A representative of Blue Origin said the company “ran into an issue while testing Vulcan’s Flight Engine 3.”

“No personnel were injured and we are currently assessing root cause,” the representative said, adding, “We already have proximate cause and are working on remedial actions.”

The company said it has another stand available for testing.

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“We will be able to meet our engine delivery commitments this year and stay ahead of our customer’s launch needs,” Blue Origin added.

Each Vulcan rocket uses two BE-4 engines. The U.S. Space Force has assigned ULA six missions, but ULA needs to use the Vulcan rocket to make those happen.

The engines are also vital to Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket that uses seven of the engines.

The explosion came a month after Blue Origin won a $3.4 billion contract with NASA to build a spacecraft to get U.S. astronauts to the moon in 2029 according to the Independent.

The website Gizmodo noted that Blue Origin and the Vulcan project have been plagued by delays.

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The Vulcan Centaur rocket was initially scheduled to debut May 4 but is now looking at a late-year launch. At one time, the company wanted to launch the rocket in 2020, but the delivery of the engines went about four years past the initial deadline.

ULA CEO Tory Bruno said he was not worried about the blast during what is known as an acceptance test.


“Many parts on a rocket, individual ATP [acceptance test] failures not uncommon (why we do it),” he wrote on Twitter.

“Many other BE4s have passed ATP & gone on to hot fire. This one had failed an earlier ATP attempt & was reworked,” he said.

In September 2022,  a booster on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket exploded in flight while carrying multiple payloads, including some for NASA. The rocket is still grounded.

Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket had been planned for flight in 2020, but now does not have a firm launch date.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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