Blue Origin’s BE-7 rocket engine executes a test firing in June. The green flame is produced by the engine’s ignition system. (Blue Origin Photo)
RENTON, Wash. — Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture says it has test-fired its BE-7 rocket engine for the full six-minute duration it would need for a landing on the moon.
The hot-fire test, conducted just a few days ago at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, follows up on a series of shorter-duration tests that began a month ago.
“We’re very excited,” Patrick Zeitouni, Blue Origin’s head of advanced development programs, said here at the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace conference.
“That means we’re getting a whole lot closer to getting that engine fielded,” he said. “And as you guys know, propulsion, rocket engines are extremely important. They’re the long pole in the tent when you’re trying to develop a new system and bring it online.”
A single hydrogen-fueled BE-7 engine would power Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander for payload deliveries to the lunar surface, packing up to 10,000 pounds of thrust.
Bezos unveiled a mockup of the lander and its engine in May in Washington, D.C. Just a week after that big ...