Blue Origin, the space startup founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has won a contract to supply its next-gen rocket engines for the huge rocket that United Launch Alliance (ULA) is developing.
After rumours circulated regarding the news earlier this week, ULA - is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin created in 2006 - confirmed the deal in a press release on Thursday.
Blue Origin's BE-4 engine is the staple of its propulsion business, and according to the report, will power ULA's Vulcan rocket: a new heavy lift vehicle being built to compete with SpaceX.
"We are pleased to enter into this partnership with Blue Origin and look forward to a successful first flight of our next-generation launch vehicle," ULA's CEO said in a statement.
Aerojet's RL10 engine will provide power to the Vulcan rocket's upper stage. Aerojet Rocketdyne spokesman Steve Warren said the company was "still excited to be on team Vulcan."
Blue Origin's CEO, Bob Smith, added: "United Launch Alliance is the premier launch service provider for national security missions, and we're thrilled to be part of their team and that mission."
The terms of the contract were not disclosed, but engines represent a major portion of the cost of a rocket.
Bezos has invested heavily in Blue Origin, injecting about $1 billion (around £750 million) of his Amazon stock into the rocket venture each year. In a speech last week, he said he will invest another billion dollars into the business next year for the company's New Glenn rocket, which BE-4 will power.
The engines of a rocket represent the majority of the cost, so the contract may be worth many several billions of dollars to Blue Origin.
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