Jeff Bezos has revealed his space firm Blue Origin has finished building its first ‘megarocket’ engine.
The BE-4 engine will be one of seven powering the firm’s New Glenn 2- and 3-stage rocket.
Like its predecessor the New Shephard and SpaceX’s Dragon, it will be a reusable space vehicle with a first stage capable of returning to the launch site and landing itself upright after each flight.
The engine is a major step forward for the fledgling space firm
‘1st BE-4 engine fully assembled. 2nd and 3rd following close behind,’ Bezos tweeted.
Unlike the smaller New Shepard, the Glenn will have enough power (using either configuration) to put heavy cargo payloads and astronauts into orbit around the Earth, putting it in direct competition with SpaceX’s upcoming Dragon Heavy, which will also launch paying customers around the moon, it was revealed last week.