Apart from starting wildly successful Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos also keeps busy as the owner of Blue Origin, an aerospace company. Blue Origin has announced a deal with United Launch Alliance to create and fund a BE-4 rocket engine, to be used for launching satellites into orbit.
This new project will further reduce the American reliance on Russia's space program. Earlier this year, Russia suggested that American astronauts use a trampoline to get to the International Space Station, as right now, they rely on Russian crafts to carry them there.
Bezos company focuses on transporting satellites, rather than cosmonauts. This deal comes just days after NASA announced a new partnership with Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX to create new astronaut carrying crafts. Coincidentally, United Launch Alliance is partially owned by Boeing.
"ULA has put a satellite into orbit almost every month for the past eight years – they’re the most reliable launch provider in history and their record of success is astonishing," said Jeff Bezos in a statement, "The team at Blue Origin is methodically developing technologies to enable human access to space at dramatically lower cost and increased reliability, and the BE-4 is a big step forward. With the new ULA partnership, we’re accelerating commercial development of the next great US-made rocket engine."
The development will take about four years, with an email for the initial test in 2016 and the first flight in 2019. It is unclear how much they will spend on the development of the new rocket engine.