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Blue Origin Continues Testing of BE-7 Lunar Lander Engine Ahead of Artemis Mission

Blue Origin
Blue Origin

Blue Origin has commenced the latest series of assessments for the company's BE-7 engine that will power a human landing system for the Artemis mission to the moon.

Blue Origin said Friday the team began conducting the fourth test for BE-7's thrust chamber at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. HLS is a joint effort between members of the Blue Origin-led National Team which includes Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

The 20-second hotfire test served as an assessment of the liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engine and its capacity to generate 10 pound-forces of thrust needed for the HLS's descent and transfer elements.

John Vilja, senior vice president for engines at Blue Origin, said the recent test demonstrated BE-7's capacity to extract energy from oxygen- and hydrogen-cooled combustors that power the engine turbopumps meant to support the transport of large payloads.

Brent Sherwood, the company's VP for advanced development programs, noted that the tests will help mature BE-7 for lunar landing activities as well as deep-space maneuvers.

BE-7 builds on the framework of the BE-3 hydrogen/oxygen engine for Blue Origin's New Shepard launch vehicle.

In January, the company agreed with the U.S. Air Force to build a testing hub for the additively manufactured lander engine.

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