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Military Capabilities

Blue Origin hotfires potential national security launch booster

22 October 2017

Blue Origin announced on 19 October it successfully hotfired its BE-4 rocket engine for the first time, which could be used in future Pentagon launches.

The company released few details other than a Twitter video and a few low-res photos. Company spokeswoman Caitlin Dietrich declined further comment on 20 October.

The BE-4 engine is US Air Force (USAF) launch provider United Launch Alliance’s (ULA's) preferred choice for its next-generation Vulcan launch vehicle. Aerojet Rocketdyne is also developing its AR1 engine for Vulcan, but ULA has publically stated its preference for the BE-4. Aerojet Rocketdyne did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

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