The Amazon (AMZN) chief shared a photo of the futuristic-looking rocket engine on Twitter, captioning it: “1st BE-4 engine fully assembled. 2nd and 3rd following close behind. #GradatimFerociter.” He also shared an image of the rocket engine in its transport cradle.
According to Blue Origin’s website, the BE-4 rocket engine is fully funded and already more than four years into its development. “BE-4 is the only engine that can fly by 2019, meeting the congressionally mandated deadline to eliminate dependence on Russian-built engines,” the site explains. “The alternative engine option is multiple years behind and could not be integrated into a launch vehicle until at least 2021, extending our dependence on Russian engines well beyond 2019.”
In a white paper reportedly circulating among President Donald Trump’s transition team and NASA’s leadership earlier this month, Bezos wrote that he wants to deliver packages to the moon by mid-2020 in order to enable “future human settlement” on the lunar landscape.