July 26, 2021

Blue Origin is conducting operations on the BE-7 lunar mission engine

Blue Origin has developed an engine that will run the Artemis program spacecraft to the moon on behalf of NASA. The company explained that it is working on the fourth series of engine tests for the BE-7 engine in the Marshall Space Flight Center, where the company conducted the previous engine test. The senior vice president of engines at Blue Origin, John Vilja, stated that they have been conducting operations on the engine’s thrust potential with the hydrogen and oxygen combustion mechanism. Moreover, they have run turbopump tests on the engine to assure the engineers that their skills have paid off and that the engine’s performance is excellent. 

Blue Origin revealed that the BE-7 engine test mid last year would facilitate the Blue Moon lunar lander’s exploits. This mission will also include other companies like Northrop Grumman, Draper, and Lockheed Martin after these companies winning the Human Landing System (HLS) awards brought forward by NASA. This award ceremony was NASA’s strategy to identify the companies that will be part of the Artemis program. 

The company began evaluating the BE-7 engine at the Marshall Center and has managed to proceed with various tests to identify the suitable propellant for the engine. The engineers discovered that the engine can generate as much as 10000 pounds of thrust force and can go as low as 2000 of deceleration speed. Blue Origin selected the propellants with this potential and developed them in the ice shadings to ensure that the engine can withstand the cold season in the poles of the moon. 

The BE-7 engine will be instrumental in the HLS program that Blue Origin has dubbed the Blue Moon project. Other customers interested in this engine include Northrop Grumman, which is collaborating in developing the Cygnus space vehicle that will deploy the payload that Blue Origin has promised its customers. 

Brent Sherwood, head of the upgrade engineering programs at Blue Origin, stated that the engine’s turbo system allows the spacecraft hosting it to venture the deep space and the moon for scientific and astronomical observations. He added that they are preparing the systems for tets flights to ensure that the US residents can enjoy space rides and lunar missions aboard the spacecraft that they are developing. In conclusion, Blue Origin is partnering with SpaceX and Dynetics to finalize on the contracts that NASA awarded them to develop lunar landers. This project will boost the reputation of the company and expose it to commercial customers who want to enjoy variable results.