Blue Origin successfully completed the hot fire testing on its BE-4 flight configuration engine. The aerospace company is already preparing to use this advanced rocket engine in its New Glenn rocket later this year. But How did it all begin? How did Blue Origin plan to use this rocket engine in New Glenn? You are about to find answers to these questions.
What effort has the Blue Origin made so far in the development of the BE-4 Rocket engine?
After signing an agreement with the United Launch Alliance in 2014, Blue Origin has been working effortlessly to ensure the success of the BE-4 rocket. In October 2017, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin announced the success of the BE-4 rocket engine. The world was excited about the latest development regarding the success of the BE-4 rocket. Since then, the company went back to work to actualize a greater result in the end. The most recent announcement from Blue Origin has shown that the BE-4 rocket engine is close to becoming a huge success.
On May 2nd, 2022, Blue Origin announced on their official Twitter page, about the progress of the rocket engine design.
“PQE-602 was the first of Blue Origin’s flight-configuration BE-4 engines that we assembled and tested, achieving consistent and repeated mission duty cycle hot fires for over 2,500 seconds of the test,” According to the Blue Origin tweet announcement.
“PQE-900 accumulated over 5,000 seconds of test & 36 starts while completing combustion stability rating, engine gimbal & engine restart. After minor refurbishment, it will be the first BE-4 tested at the historic Marshall Space Flight Center Test Stand 4670 since its renovation.PQE-802 characterized unit to unit variation in the different flight-configuration builds. This engine configuration achieved sustained 104% power level operation (572,000 lbs thrust). We extensively tested flight-configuration engines up to and beyond the entire operating envelope, delivering superior performance (specific impulse, thrust) for an LNG engine. Thanks to learnings from these test series, we are confident in our first flight engines,” the aerospace company announced.
From this powerful message, you will realize that Blue Origin has achieved tremendous success with the BE-4 rocket engine configuration. The test result showed combustion stability, perfect engine configuration, and achieved up to 104% power level operation.
During the test, the B4-4 rocket engine produced a total of 572,000 1bf of thrust. This milestone has shown how close Blue Origin has come to actualizing success.
When did Blue Origin Begin to Develop the BE-4 Engine?
Blue Origin is one of the top private commercial space agencies that hope to set a great milestone in space exploration. One of its best most futuristic concepts is the design of the BE-4 flight configuration engine.
The aerospace company began to work on this rocket engine in September 2011. However, it was made public in September 2014. Later that same year, Blue Origin reached and signed an agreement with United Launch Alliance for a partnership in the development of the Blue Engine 4 (BE-4) rocket engine.
The primary goal of this collaboration is to deploy the usage of the new BE-4 on the Vulcan Launch Vehicle. Keep in mind that the Vulcan Launch Vehicle was developed to replace the Atlas V rocket vehicle. Since this space vehicle will be replacing a highly sophisticated launch vehicle, it has to come with a high-powered rocketry engine to reach a greater milestone than the Atlas V rocket vehicle.
What is Blue Origin Next Move with the BE-4 Engine?
After the company has attained success with the BE-4 rocket engine testing, everyone is looking up to see what Blue Origin plans to do with the engine.
The initial plan of Blue Origin is to exclusively use the BE-4 engine to power its New Glenn space rocket. Keep in mind that Blue Origin reached an agreement with ULA to supply rocket engines to the company. The aerospace company will likely stick to this deal and deliver this powerful rocket engine to ULA.
Before Blue Origin went into the development of the BE-4 engine, the company has already planned to make the engine produce up to 550,000 lbf of thrust at sea level. With the recent testing, the BE-4 engine produced 570,000 lbf of thrust. This milestone has proven the BE-4 to be implemented in future rocket vehicles.
Blue Origin has already planned to use the BE-4 engine in the New Glenn. The New Glenn is blue Origin’s large orbital launch vehicle which is about to commence its journey to space.
The first stage of this futuristic space vehicle will be powered by seven BE-4 engines. Blue Origin built this 7.0 meter (23 feet) two-stage space vehicle to be a reusable rocket. The second stage of the New Glenn will deploy only two BE-3 engines to operate.
These BE-3 engines are designed to operate as vacuum-optimized hydrolox engines. This will give New Glenn more efficiency to reach a great milestone in reaching a great height. The second stage is also designed to be expendable. You will surely learn more about the New Glenn space vehicle that will be coming up on this blog soon.
Blue Origin has worked effortlessly to ensure that the New Glenn Space Vehicle achieves tremendous success in exploring space. With the successful testing of the BE-4 engine, the success of New Glenn is assured. What do you think about the development of the New Glenn orbital launch vehicle?