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The competition heats up: Jeff Bezos’s company Blue Origin has signed a contract with the United Launch Alliance to build a rocket engine for the Atlas 5 rocket so that it will no longer have to depend on Russian engines.
Neither executive [of either company] would discuss a dollar figure, although it’s likely somewhat less than $1 billion. Bruno said a typical liquid-fueled rocket engine takes seven years and $1 billion to develop, but Blue Origin is already several years along on the BE-4. Bruno said the engine could be ready within four years to serve as the main engine on the company’s Atlas V rockets.
This is excellent news, because it shows that ULA is being pro-active in solving this problem, rather then waiting for Congress to act.