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10/3/2018

ULA selects Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine to power Vulcan

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The liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled booster will be powered by a pair of BE-4 engines, each producing 550,000 pounds of sea level thrust.

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United Launch Alliance’s (ULA, Centennial, CO, US) announced on Sept. 27 it has selected Blue Origin’s (Kent, WA, US) BE-4 engine for Vulcan Centaur’s booster stage. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled booster will be powered by a pair of BE-4 engines, each producing 550,000 pounds of sea level thrust.

As previously announced, ULA has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne’s (Sacramento, CA, US) RL10 engine for the Centaur upper stage, Northrop Grumman (Falls Church, VA, US) solid rocket boosters, L‑3 Avionics Systems (Grand Rapids, MI, US) avionics, and RUAG’s (Bern, Switzerland) payload fairings and composite structures for the new Vulcan Centaur rocket system.

According to ULA, the next-generation rocket is making strong progress in development and is on track for its initial flight in mid-2020. It will have a maximum liftoff thrust of 3.8 million pounds and carry 56,000 pounds to low Earth orbit, 33,000 pounds to a geo-transfer orbit and 16,000 pounds to geostationary orbit with greater capability than any currently available single-core launch vehicle. 

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