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Blue Origin subjected rocket engine to over 100 rounds of testing


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Blue Origin joined forces with Boeing's/Lockheed Martin's United Launch Alliance to build its BE-4 rocket engine last year. Now, the American-made component has completed over 100 staged-combustion cycles, which "included a representative BE-4 preburner and regeneratively cooled thrust chamber using multiple full-scale injector elements." Since we're not all rocket scientists, it just means the Jeff Bezos-backed space corp put its parts through rigorous testing before it starts full-engine tests.

Thanks to the data gathered from the series, Blue Origin was able to refine the design of some of BE-4's key elements ahead of the government's Critical Design Review. The engine would have to pass that CDR before the companies can start manufacturing it for actual use. BE-4 uses liquid oxygen and liquefied natural gas (LNG) and can produce 550,000 lbf of thrust. It was originally designed for Blue Origin's orbital launch vehicle, but it will also replace the Russian-made one ULA uses, seeing as Congress already banned products from the region.

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