The other reusable rocket company, Blue Origin says it should be flying to orbit in 2019
Jeff Bezos says he wants to see millions of people living and working in space. Bezos' private spaceflight company Blue Origin is working with the United Launch Alliance to build a new liquid rocket engine called the BE-4. They plan to have rockets flying payloads with the engine in 2019.
The vehicle Bezos' company is working on uses a modern booster engine, which is said to be more efficient than those made 20-30 years ago, reports The Washington Post. Bezos also said the vehicle is autonomous, so there's no need to send test pilots when they're running trials with it.
The BE4 will produce 550,000 pounds of thrust and is propelled by a mix of liquefied natural gas and oxygen. The fuels are pressurized by a single turbopump before being burned, which scientists say may make it more efficient than using a two-prop system.
Blue Origin is developing technologies to enable human access to space at dramatically lower cost and increased reliability. This is a long-term effort, which we’re pursuing incrementally, step by step. We’re currently focused on developing reusable launch vehicles utilizing rocket-powered Vertical Take-off and Vertical Landing (VTVL) technology.