ULA partners with Blue Origin on engine project

ULA partners with Blue Origin on engine project

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The United Launch Alliance is partnering with private aerospace company Blue Origin to develop a new rocket engine.

Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos, owns Blue Origin which is a privately-funded company.

Bezos joined ULA on Wednesday to announced their agreement to jointly fund the new BE-4 rocket engine by Blue Origin.

The BE-4 is a liquid oxygen and liquefied natural gas rocket engine.

Two engines will power each ULA booster on ULA's rockets and replace the Russian made RD-180s.

ULA and Blue Origin plan to test the BE-4 in 2016. They hope to put them in service by 2019.

Senator Richard Shelby applauded ULA's plans.

He said the decision is great news for north Alabama and that the announcement will allow the US to expand its capabilities and further reduce its reliance on Russia.

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